Tom Davies had the world at his feet but is now looking for a club

Tom Davies was the kid who had the world at his feet but is now looking for a new team with Sheffield United keen… so what went wrong for the former Everton sensation?

  • Tom Davies is looking for a club after leaving boyhood Everton this summer 
  • He once looked like a player who could be the heartbeat of Everton for a decade 
  • Davies wants a top-flight club with Premier League Sheffield United keen

It was a wet and windy Sunday afternoon on Merseyside when Tom Davies scored the goal that has since stalked most conversations about him.

Davies pinched the ball from Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling deep inside his own half and embarked on a barnstorming run to fire Everton 3-0 up.

He used a burst of energy to evade Gael Clichy, deployed a Cristiano Ronaldo-like chop inside to skip past Yaya Toure with ease then played a give-and-go with Ross Barkley, shrugging off a John Stones attempted foul, before beating Claudio Bravo with a dinked finish.

From one end to the other in 16 seconds, a 74-yard run, Pep Guardiola’s City were torn apart. It was the heaviest defeat of the Catalan’s managerial career and he stared into space with that customary stony-eyed gloomy expression.

‘Coming into the game, it was a test for me to see where I was as a player, coming up against players like them,’ said Davies after making a defence-busting run. ‘What it has shown me is that, if I keep working hard, I can reach the level they are at.

Tom Davies is looking for a new team after leaving boyhood club Everton this summer

Davies (pictured in 2017) looked like he could be the heartbeat of the Everton midfield – and perhaps England’s – for the next decade, only to fall flat during his time at Goodison Park

‘It was surreal, I couldn’t believe it was actually happening. Then to celebrate with the fans after the goal — a dream come true.’

Davies was awarded an 8.5 out of 10 mark in these pages. Watching the game back, that grade was perhaps harsh. He was imperious off the ball, played a defence-splitting pass for another goal and made a goal-line clearance. ‘There’s no stopping dazzling Davies,’ read our headline.

Unfortunately, dazzling Davies was stopped. Not straight away, mind, he produced a match- winning assist at Crystal Palace the next week. But the kid who looked like he could be the heartbeat of the Everton midfield for the next decade — and perhaps England’s — fell flat.

Now 25, Davies is without a club. He took a chance on leaving boyhood club Everton in search of regular football and a manager who might appreciate him more. Blackburn, Cardiff and Leeds have been mooted as destinations but he wants a top-flight club, with Sheffield United keen.

He’s spent the summer training with Joey Barton at League One Bristol Rovers but that is to maintain fitness. Clubs in France and Saudi Arabia have sounded him out, and Serie A side Monza were also keen.

Monza is more famous for its Formula One track and swanky guests who populate the city. Davies wouldn’t look out of place. Like former team-mate Dominic Calvert-Lewin, he has a dapper dress sense — just look down his Instagram feed.

His high regard for fashion has often wrongly been used as a poking stick for Davies, with rival fans accusing him of being too focused on what attire he is sporting. But how can what someone wears dictate how they perform on a football pitch?

Aside from high-end designer brands, retro fits and candid shoots, a scroll of Davies’ social media reveals many other faces to the free agent. First of all, a deluge of love in the comments, with Toffees fans wishing him well.

Davies (right) like Dominic Calvert-Lewin (left) had a dapper dress sense, though his high regard for fashion was often used as a poking stick against the midfielder

Davies has been linked with clubs in England, Saudi Arabia and Italy over the summer

Premier League side Sheffield United are interested in signing Davies (manager Paul Heckingbottom pictured)

‘You’ll be missed around Finch Farm, bud,’ read one comment. ‘Look forward to coming to watch you play, let me know and I’ll be on my way.’ Another said: ‘Will miss you Tom, you were very kind to me when we had a chat on the disability balcony when you were injured.’

Davies spends a lot of time incognito in Liverpool helping homeless charities. He’s asked for no cameras at the project as he does it out of kindness rather than as a PR stunt.

The midfielder, who still lived at home in West Derby with his parents when he broke through, followed in the footsteps of his uncle, Alan Whittle, nicknamed ‘The Hustler’ at Goodison Park.

He drives a Tesla and works for environmental project ChopValue, who recycle chopsticks and turn them into other products.

Injuries played a factor in his downfall at Goodison Park, while some close to him point to the fact he had 11 managers during his time at the club

So what went wrong? Injuries are a factor and perhaps that barnstorming start raised expectations too high, while some close to him point to the fact he had 11 managers at Goodison Park.

Ronald Koeman, who handed him his first elongated run in the team, believed in Davies — but how many of those to occupy the Everton hotseat since then have done? Regardless, he is said to be a studious professional and hard-working trainer.

Clubs taking a punt on him might not get the midfielder who once skipped past Toure as a boy but they will get a man who is down to earth, ready to learn and will give his all.

As captain Seamus Coleman put it on Davies’s leaving post: ‘It’s been a tough couple of years for us but you are one of the reasons we kept going. Always trained at 100 per cent and set the standards.’ Calvert-Lewin added: ‘An honest, hard-working human who deserves everything good coming your way.’

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