Tom Davies has been saved from getting undeservedly axed from Carlo Ancelotti’s midfield against Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup, as Everton will not have Allan back in contention to play in midweek.
That’s according to the Liverpool Echo’s Adam Jones, who notes that the 30-year-old is not ready to make a return following hopes he could be declared fit and made available for selection on Wednesday night when Jose Mourinho’s Spurs visit Goodison Park to contend for a place in the Quarter-Final.
Allan has not been seen on the field since limping off against Leicester City in mid-December with a hamstring injury, which ruled the £21m summer signing from Serie A side SSC Napoli out of 11 fixtures across all competitions.
Ancelotti hopes to be able to call on Allan against Fulham on Sunday, which would leave Jean-Philippe Gbamin as Everton’s only player unavailable while James Rodriguez is still being monitored, having been withdrawn in Saturday’s 3-3 draw with Manchester United due to a tight calf.
Allan was a constant fixture of Ancelotti’s Premier League plans following his move to Goodison Park in the off-season, starting 12 of a possible 13 games with his only absence in that period coming against Brighton and Hove Albion in early October due to a groin strain.
The Brazilian’s subsequent hamstring injury has now resulted in his longest enforced break between league appearances since 2011, having at worst missed three successive games over the past decade through injuries.
Ancelotti offering the 10-cap enforcer a recall to the Everton starting line-up in the FA Cup would likely have come at the expense of Davies, who stood in as the Toffees’ holding midfielder against Manchester United over the weekend.
Fans waxed lyrical over Davies’ performance on social media following the draw, with select supporters dubbing the Blues academy graduate as their Man of the Match for his hard work and determination in the midfielder’s return to the side.
Davies had played just one minute over Everton’s previous two Premier League games, but was given a reprieve against the Red Devils to earn just an eighth top-flight start of the term.
For Davies to have been axed for Allan to feature against Tottenham would have come as a very much undeserving blow for the £14.5m-rated 22-year-old, who brought energy and grit to the engine room at Old Trafford.
Davies came into his own after the break as he sought to drag the Blues back into the game while two goals behind, with his perfectly weighted pass through to Dominic Calvert-Lewin creating the shot which rebounded into the path of Abdoulaye Doucoure to pull a goal back.
Yet his creativity was nothing compared to his defensive efforts, with Davies offering a joint game-high three successful tackles during the 74 minutes he was on the field, but with a 100% success rate compared to Andre Gomes (43%) and Aaron Wan-Bissaka (75%), per WhoScored.
Davies also registered the second-most clearances (4) by any single player, with Michael Keane (5) the only one to lump the ball long in efforts to protect his side’s goal, and trailed only Richarlison (2) for dribbles (1) as one of just two visiting players to carry possession successfully up the pitch.
Davies’ efforts on any other week would have more than ensured he retained a place in the starting line-up for the following game, so missing out for Allan to return at home to Tottenham would have come as a cruel blow that Ancelotti is now able to avoid.
AND in other news, Everton have their eyes on a £10m+ striker boasting 18 goals this season…