Tom Davies has insisted that he is ready to prove himself once more, as the battle for an Everton centre midfield starting position hots up.
The Toffees wonderkid enjoyed a breakthrough campaign on Merseyside last season, and featured in 18 of the 19 Premier League matches for Ronald Koeman's side after the turn of the year.
His superbly mature displays have seen Davies installed a future Blues superstar but, speaking to the club's website, the 19-year-old admitted that he would need to maintain those high personal expectation levels if he hoped to compete for a first-team spot.
He said: “Last season is last season. The manager is focused on what is ahead – and that is like us.
“I do not think you get a place in the team off what you did last season. It is all about this season and proving yourself again.
“But it is a challenge you look forward to. I have reflected on last season with people close to me. We talked about that and we discussed what I needed to do this season and what it would be like.
Watched the U21s saw a great player in midfield goes by the name of Tom Davies would look great in our team#bloody obvious— nigel harrison (@bluenige) October 10, 2017
“It is kind of tough to map it out because you do not know what is going to happen, but it is another test.”
Davies will tussle with Morgan Schneiderlin, Idrissa Gana Gueye, Mohamed Besic and James McCarthy for a central midfield berth in Koeman's starting lineup throughout this term, and has already had to remain patient in the search for a regular spot in the team.
The competition for place in Everton's senior squad as a whole has only hotted up with the arrival of nine new players in the summer and ensured that the Toffees' young talented contingent of players must up their game.
Davies, alongside the likes of Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Ademola Lookman and Jonjoe Kenny, remarked that he and his fellow starlets would be pushing themselves harder in 2017/18 to give Koeman food for thought as the season progresses.
He added: “After Christmas, last season was good for me, but this year... there will be ups and downs. You just need to be ready for them.
No you don't Tom. Ronald K needs to prove himself. You're doing just fine.— Spartan Cleggy (@zuzino) October 12, 2017
“I think it is going to be a lot harder than it was last season, especially with the signings we have made.
“People expect it from you now. Although we are still young, we have had our breakthrough – that first season – so now you have to step up and do it all again, which I am sure will be tough.
“For us all, really, it is about trying to impress the manager again... as if you have just come into the squad.”