26 Tom Davies

eng England
June 30, 1998

Tom Davies enjoyed an outstanding breakthrough season in 2016/17.

Evertonians got a first glimpse of exciting prospect Tom Davies in April 2016, when the young midfielder, an Academy graduate, was handed his Premier League debut from the bench in the 1-1 draw against Southampton.

His first start followed a month later when David Unsworth and Joe Royle took temporary charge for the final-day fixture against Norwich City.

Davies revelled in the limelight and his all-action style earned him the Man Of The Match prize.

It has represented a rapid rise for the Merseyside-born teenage who joined Everton’s Academy at the age of 11.

He became a first-year scholar ahead of the 2014/15 season, providing tough tackling and a wide passing range to the Under-18s in the centre of the park.

Davies was promoted to the Under-21s side at the end of that campaign and scored in the first mini-derby of the 2015/16 season to help secure a 3-3 draw.

Davies’ crusade towards the Everton first team took a big step forward when he signed his first professional contract last September, a two-year deal.

The England youth international captained his country in the Under-17s World Cup in October 2015 and in the same year was invited by Roy Hodgson to train with the senior side at St George’s Park.

Upon returning from South America, he continued to play regularly at a high level for the Club’s Under-21s side, to a point where he was handed a first-team opportunity in April 2016.

In August 2016 he signed a new five-year deal after featuring prominently in pre-season – and that was just the beginning.

He starred for Unsworth’s Under-23s in the first half of the campaign, helping to set the young Blues on their way to the inaugural Premier League 2 crown.

And, after five substitute appearances, Davies’ form was rewarded by Koeman with a senior start for visit of Southampton on 2 January.

He featured in every first team game for the rest of the 2016/17 campaign and quickly established himself as a fans’ favourite with his all-action approach.

That was underlined when he capped a dream season by scooping a treble of prizes at the Club’s End of Season Awards event.

The midfielder, 18 at the time, was named Young Player of the Year, before winning both of the categories voted for by fans – Individual Performance of the Season for his display in the 4-0 win over Manchester City in January, and Goal of the Season for his fine solo effort in that match, which was Davies’ first senior goal for the Club.

Davies signed another five-year contract at the end of the season to keep him at the Club until the end of June 2022.