Why Tom Davies could be the answer to Everton’s midfield woes
After a promising campaign in the Premier League last season and a summer of heavy investment this term, Everton were tipped by many to break the top-six lock and challenge for a European spot under Marco Silva.
However, three games into the season, the Toffees find themselves languishing 12th in the standings, theoretically just a point above the relegation zone.
Well, it might be too early in the season to draw any significant conclusions but even a layman would probably understand that Everton’s start to the ongoing campaign has been anything but spectacular.
Having failed to capitalise on their chances in the goalless draw against Crystal Palace in the season opener, Silva’s men scraped past Watford 1-0 in their second fixture, thanks to a solitary goal from Bernand.
However, things went horribly wrong for the Toffees this week in the Premier League, as they lost out 2-1 to newly-promoted Aston Villa away from home.
It was a woeful team performance and barring the impact made by substitutes Alex Iwobi and Moise Kean, there were hardly any positives for the manager to take from that lacklustre defeat.
To sum it up, Everton have failed to live up to the expectations in the opening few weeks of the campaign and the continuation of the club’s difficulties in front of goal certainly presents worrying signs for the fans, who would have hoped for a much better start.
The Toffees have scored only once in three games so far and they surely can’t expect to make their presence felt among the big boys in the Premier League if they continue at such a strike rate over the next few weeks.
That, however, isn’t Everton’s only problem, with Silva apparently running short of quality cover in the midfield following an unexpected injury to big-money signing Jean-Philippe Gbamin in training.
The Ivorian, who made his first Premier League start against Watford, is likely to be out for about 12 weeks after suffering a serious thigh injury.
One of the key takeaways from Everton’s loss against Villa was their lack of stability in the middle of the park.
The partnership of Andre Gomes and Morgan Schneiderlin looked completely listless, disjointed and lethargic, as the Toffees lacked any sort of energy in the midfield to cope with highly-influential players like Douglas Luiz and John McGinn last week.
Everton’s woeful performance in the midfield would surely have left the fans wondering as to how big a void the departure of Idrissa Gana Gueye has left in the club’s ranks.
The hardworking Senegalese star was one of the team’s standout performers last season and his presence was instrumental in bringing the best out of Gomes.
The Toffees signed Fabian Delph and Gbamin to cope with his departure and, while the former is expected to play a role in the coming weeks, Silva should turn his attention to academy graduate Tom Davies, who has made only a solitary substitute appearance thus far in the Premier League.
As evident from the last game, the pairing of Gomes and Schneiderlin in central midfield isn’t the best way forward for the Toffees and, while the Portuguese international is expected to retain his spot, Davies, with his energy, stamina and work-rate, could possibly bring the best out of the former Barcelona man.
Silva showed a lot of faith in the 21-year-old last season and even handed him the captain’s armband on a few occasions, meaning that the youngster is very much a part of the manager’s plans moving forward.
A burst of energy and youthful exuberance in the midfield could help the Toffees perform like a well-oiled unit when they play host to Wolves in the Premier League on Saturday and Davies’ inclusion in the starting eleven could make a world of difference.
His ability to carry the ball forward with intent and cover every blade of grass on the pitch should change the whole complexion of Everton’s midfield.
Silva will be expected to make radical changes to his eleven when Everton face Lincoln City in the Carabao Cup in midweek and Davies is likely to be one of the first names on the manager’s teamsheet for that game.
To Read More Everton News, Click Here:- Latest Everton News
Hence, the youngster needs to grab his opportunity with both hands and stake a claim for a starting role next weekend with a standout performance in the domestic cup fixture.