By Dominic Toner
Danny Higginbotham believes that Everton playmaker Ross Barkley has benefited immensely from the rise of Tom Davies this season.
The Toffees manager Ronald Koeman has promoted 18-year-old Davies from the academy this campaign and he is making a strong impression in the first-team.
The Englishman has slotted into a three-man midfield alongside Idrissa Gueye and Morgan Schneiderlin, which has allowed team-mate Barkley to push into a more advanced role.
Sky Sports pundit Higginbotham feels that Barkley’s overall game has improved as a result Davies’ inclusion in the side.
“There is no doubt Davies’ introduction to the team has helped Barkley to flourish this season,” Higginbotham wrote in the Sun. “Before Davies was in the side, the onus was all on Barkley to provide the attacking creativity.
“But that is not easy if you are getting crowded out. Having Davies making runs beyond him creates room for Barkley to operate.”
Barkley has frustrated supporters during his progression at Goodison Park and many fans feel he has been unable to match high expectations.
However, the 23-year-old has been able to find some more consistent form this season under Koeman and is more involved in the team’s attacking play.
The England international has made 28 appearances across all competitions, scoring five goals and supplying six assists.
Barkley will hope to continue his good form on Saturday when Everton host West Brom in the Premier League and try to strengthen their grip on seventh.
In other Everton news, Leighton Baines believes this youngster is already proven.