Kevin Kilbane has backed Tom Davies to become 'better and better' after the Everton wonderkid racked up his 50th Premier League appearance for the Toffees.
The ex-Blues midfielder was speaking to the club's website about Davies, who reach a half century of senior appearances for the Merseysiders in last Saturday's 1-0 reverse to Watford.
Davies has begun to sparkle again in recent weeks after struggling to recapture the form that helped him have a breakthrough campaign at Goodison Park last season.
And, after seeing the 19-year-old's development first hand over the past few years, Kilbane stated his belief that the centre midfielder had all the tools necessary to become an Everton star for years to come.
He said: “He has reached 50 games now, which is the point where you can start to really feel you have established yourself.
“Once you get to 50 games and beyond, more is expected of you – and there is a bit of pressure attached to that.
“And as he gets better and better through his career, which I expect him to, he has to live up to those expectations and manage the burden which comes with them.
“He is at the right club and in the right environment to help him take that load. And I think he will be absolutely fine. He has massively impressed me with the way he has continued to work at his game and looked to improve from the moment he first played in the team.”
Davies has been deployed in a more central attacking role by Sam Allardyce in recent weeks as the 63-year-old looks to get the best out of the academy graduate.
Tom Davies playing the Rui Costa style role, drifting into pockets of space and linking play up between the lines. Raw but way way behind his years. Adventurous and fearless— Singing the blues #ElGato 🇺🇦 (@eternalblue1878) February 24, 2018
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That has led to a marked improvement in the England Under-21s performances and, alongside Wayne Rooney and Idrissa Gueye, has formed a new talented triumvirate in the middle of the park.
Kilbane puts that change in role down to Davies' recovered displays and sees that position as one he can master.
A very promising player indeed. Tom will go along way.— Peter Papadopoulos (@PeterPapadopo11) February 19, 2018
He added: “I have liked Tom since he broke into the side. He brings a rawness to the team and some unpredictability, as well.
“Sometimes, that is key to getting results. We can all have functional elements to our game and play a certain way. And Tom is excellent on the ball and can play a specific role – he can play according to the manager’s needs.