Why Koeman must start brilliant Everton 18-year-old against Leicester
By Dominic Toner
Everton manager Ronald Koeman must start youngster Tom Davies in Saturday’s FA Cup third-round match against Leicester.
The 18-year-old has emerged as one of the best upcoming talents at Goodison Park and is expected to play a major role in the first-team during the next month.
The Toffees have lost central midfielder Idrissa Gueye to the Africa Cup of Nations and Davies looks set to get a deserved chance in the starting XI in his absence.
Everton must give Davies more vital minutes in the side during the Leicester clash as he adapts to playing at top level football.
Koeman may be tempted to ring the changes to his side following the Southampton match, but must keep Davies in the starting XI to help his development.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
Davies made just his eighth appearance in the Premier League win over Southampton and it was only the second time he had completed 90 minutes.
The central midfielder could now be expected to fill the huge gap left by Gueye and looks to have the ability to step in, but people must not put too much pressure on his shoulders.
Koeman looks set to trust him in the team in the coming weeks and he has looked extremely useful in the senior side during his limited chances.
Davies has not looked overwhelmed by the step up from the Under-23s and has played with a real calmness for someone so young.
The England Under-19 international has injected some real pace and urgency when deployed and is now ready for a run of games in the team.
Everton face Premier League games against Manchester City and Crystal Palace, but Davies should start his run in the team with the Leicester clash where he can get some more experience.
In other Everton news, the club’s supporters have urged Koeman to sell their striker.