Everton manager Frank Lampard has received a timely injury boost ahead of a pivotal end to the season following Tom Davies’ return to training at Finch Farm.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s visit of his former club Chelsea to Goodison Park, the 43-year-old revealed that the academy graduate is now back in first-team training and as such may still have a part to play between now and the end of the campaign.
However, Lampard has now raised hopes of an unlikely return to action for Davies in the run-in, saying: “He is a great lad, he’s been on the training pitch with us now for a couple of weeks. He is so dedicated to the cause. It comes out of his veins. He has worked very hard to get to this stage.
“We just need to get him more training minutes, and hopefully more game minutes, which we can produce at the training ground for him. He has been out for a while. Hopefully he can contribute in the latter part of the season.”
While the local lad will still be unavailable for this weekend’s meeting with Thomas Tuchel’s side, news of his impending return will be a welcome boost to the Goodison Park faithful, with the club needing all the help they can get as they look to stave off relegation.
The Merseysiders currently sit 18th in the Premier League table and are two points from safety, with relegation rivals Burnley having enjoyed something of a bounce following the sacking of long-serving manager Sean Dyche a couple of weeks ago.
A first-ever relegation from the Premier League had previously appeared unthinkable for a club of Everton’s stature, although for Lampard’s men it is now a very real possibility, hence the need for a timely boost from the returning Davies.
There had been some suggestion that the £16.2m-rated maestro would be unable to feature having been omitted from the club’s 25-man Premier League squad following the January transfer window, although the loan departure of Jean-Philippe Gbamin to CSKA Moscow in February enabled the Englishman to be reinstated.
While he has missed the majority of the current campaign, the £32k-per-week ace did impress under former Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti last term, showcasing his all-action midfield quality as he averaged 1.4 interceptions, 1.2 tackles and o.8 clearances per game in his 25 top-flight outings.
Dubbed one of the club’s midfield “tigers” by pundit Nigel Martyn last year, it would seem that the current Toffees crop are crying out for a bit of athleticism and steel in the centre of the park as they attempt to scrap for their top-flight future.
The possible return of Davies in the coming weeks will surely leave the Everton faithful delighted, particularly with their Premier League status in the balance.