Everton are planning to offer teenage midfielder Tom Davies a new long-term contract as a reward for establishing himself as an integral part of the senior squad at Goodison Park in recent months.
Davies made his debut for his boyhood club against Southampton in April last year and has made 16 appearances for Ronald Koeman's men this season, scoring once and providing three assists. He signed a five-year deal in August but ESPN claims that the Toffees want to give him a contract befitting his status and importance to the team.
Davies, a cultured midfielder possessing maturity beyond his years, was seldom used by Everton manager Koeman during the embryonic stages of the campaign but was given a couple of opportunities to impress during the Christmas period.
The 18-year-old grasped his chance with both hands and has started 10 of the Blues' 11 matches in all competitions. He will almost certainly be included in Koeman's starting line-up on Saturday (April 1) when Everton face bitter rivals Liverpool in the Merseyside derby at Anfield.
Davies is not the only young starlet lighting up Goodison Park this season: Mason Holgate, Ademola Lookman and Dominic Calvert-Lewin have all been handed opportunities by Koeman this season, while Jonjoe Kenny, Kieran Dowell and Matthew Pennington are on the cusp of the senior squad.
Davies is at the forefront of Everton's latest batch of wonderkids, though, and his presence in the Toffees' engine room has had an incredibly positive effect on fellow local lad and boyhood blue Ross Barkley. The 23-year-old playmaker's drastic upturn coincided with Davies' introduction to the starting line-up, though it is his contract situation that should be dealt with more urgency.
Barkley's contract with Everton expires at the end of the next season, and talks over a new deal are under way. The Wavertree-born star is keen to extend his stay with the Toffees – he joined the club's academy at the age of 11 – but manager Koeman recently said he may be forced to sell him this summer if an agreement cannot be reached.