Tom Davies says a meeting with Carlo Ancelotti on the eve of this season convinced him to abandon ideas of a loan move away from Everton.
Midfielder Davies is piecing together, arguably, his finest campaign since a debut five years ago next month.
The 22-year-old consistently featured at the back end of last season but feared his progress stalling following the summer purchases of Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure.
Davies spoke to Everton’s matchday programme for Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final tie with Manchester City – when the Academy graduate could potentially make his 100th start for the Club.
He covered multiple subjects – including a revelation over how watching basketball triggered Davies to revise his preparation for matches.
The player is steadily establishing a fixed starting position – validating the decision to listen to his manager’s advice after the arrivals of fellow midfielders Allan and Doucoure.
“At one point, I wanted to go on loan,” said Davies.
“I am still developing and didn’t want to just train and sit on the bench for a year.
“I want that experience of playing games.
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JUNIOR EDSA MEMBERS QUIZ MIDFIELDER DAVIES
"Me saying [in an Everton matchday programme interview in January 2020] that I want to learn how to dictate games, I am not going to do that by just training well every day.
“I need to be in the situation where I am in the game, dictating it and getting to understand it more.
“I went to speak to the manager and he gave me the reassurance that if I worked hard and carried on doing what I was, there would be opportunities for me.
“He thought it would be better to stay and help the squad and train well and improve that way.
“To hear that from him made me feel I was needed around the place and the two signings weren’t going to give me no chance.
“If it had been anyone other than Carlo Ancelotti, I might have pushed more, dug my heels in a bit and said I want to go out and show you how good I am.
“But the manager has been great for me, I knew he would be true to his word and I respect him so much.
“I cracked on, as I always have done, did everything right by myself, got fitter and stronger and worked harder in training.”
Davies seized his first opportunity to impress this term when an injury for Allan opened the door for the Englishman to step in against Brighton & Hove Albion back in October.
He did well enough to be first cab off the rank when Allan was hurt again in December.
Granted an extended run, Davies increasingly exerted a telling influence and it was a measure of his progress when he excelled in victories over Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool last month.
Davies talks in his programme interview about a period when his confidence faded – but the player is buoyant today after profiting from the gentle guidance of Ancelotti.
“He told me to simplify my game and it is working, massively,” said Davies.
“He’s helped a lot with my positioning, and taking fewer touches, knowing what I need to do before the ball arrives at my feet.
“He reminded me that’s how I play and it’s helped me back to where I was.
“He wants me to play forward and break lines with passes – but not wasting possession and risking balls that won’t get there.
“If the forward pass isn’t on, there are ways you can find positions on the pitch to make it happen.
“Or, if I take fewer touches, I can get there quicker. Previously, I might not have been picking up on these things.
“That [influencing games] is where I want to be and where Everton need me as a player.
“I step up against the top teams, the next step is to perform like that and control the game every week.”