Tom Davies must step up and seize his chance to regain a starting role at Everton after Carlo Ancelotti lost Allan to a hamstring injury at Leicester City on Wednesday night.
The ex-SSC Napoli titan was forced off late in the first half and left Toffees chiefs waiting anxiously for word on how long he will now be forced to spend on the sidelines, with no firm timescale as yet placed on his recovery.
Allan sustained the issue while tracking back and was forced to be replaced by Andre Gomes, who struggled to set the stage alight whilst Davies was left to watch on from the bench once again.
Davies has been named in all but one of Ancelotti’s 12 Premier League matchday squads so far this season, yet has only tasted game time in six and started two, with the last of his opening roles coming as a right-sided wing-back against Leeds United in the absence of Seamus Coleman.
Ancelotti has also only felt fit to start Davies in midfield once, coming against Brighton and Hove Albion in early October after Allan was sidelined with a groin strain.
Yet the Italian tactician was full of praise for Davies’ performance in the 4-2 win over the Seagulls, believing the 22-year-old was tactically brilliant.
“I think he has the advantage that he can play all the positions in midfield,” Ancelotti told EvertonTV. “He can play holding midfield.
“It depends what you are going to ask of him. I think against Brighton he did really well tactically, and what I asked of him. He doesn’t have to do a special or fantastic pass, he has to just control the position in front of our two centre-backs.
“Honestly, he did really well tactically. Of course, he can improve because he’s still young. But I think everyone can improve.”
If Allan is unable to feature against Arsenal on Saturday evening, Ancelotti should have no choice but to offer Davies a recall and the chance for the £25,000-per-week talent to regain a starting role.
Davies is, in the view of former Everton striker Joe Royle, in need of a “jump-start” in his career having lost the spark from his explosion onto the scene in 2016, and when better to get the engine firing on all cylinders again than against a limping giant of the Premier League era in Mikel Arteta’s underperforming Gunners.
He certainly delivered when Ancelotti needed him to against Brighton, with Davies penning 68 touches, five interceptions, three successful tackles, one blocked shot, 46 accurate passes and three ground duels won, per SofaScore. All aspects Everton will need from whoever is tasked with locking down the deep role in the engine room come Saturday.
AND in other news, Everton enter a four-way battle to sign a gritty 21-goal marksman in January.