Everton’s Tom Davies to miss England U19 tournament for time to rest

Andy Hunter
The Guardian
<span class="element-image__caption">Tom Davies’s progress with Everton this season has earned him a new five-year contract.</span> <span class="element-image__credit">Photograph: Lee Smith/Reuters</span>
Tom Davies’s progress with Everton this season has earned him a new five-year contract. Photograph: Lee Smith/Reuters

Ronald Koeman has said Tom Davies will not feature at the European Under-19 Championship this summer despite captaining England when they qualified for the tournament.

The Everton midfielder led England to a 3-0 win over Spain last month that sealed their place at the championship finals in Georgia from 2-15 July. However, at the request of his club, the Football Association has agreed that the 18-year-old would benefit from a rest after rising to prominence in the Premier League this season.

Davies, who signed a new five-year contract with Everton last week, has made 18 first-team appearances this season and been a regular starter in Koeman’s team since the new year.

He would be eligible to step up into England’s team for the Under-20 World Cup in May or the European Under-21 Championship in June but with the under-19 tournament being staged in July, Everton do not want the player overloaded with the 2017-18 Premier League season starting on 12 August.

“He will not play in the under-19s tournament, he needs a summer of rest,” Koeman said. “I heard that he will not be in the same squad as Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Ademola Lookman. He is not involved. Maybe in the future it will be normally the under-21s or the national team for him. Steve Walsh [Everton’s director of football] spoke to the people from the FA about this.

“Normally everyone gets at least three weeks and Tom will get three or four weeks. I don’t know exactly what the programme is with England but he will not be involved in that tournament.”

Everton host Leicester City on Sunday with Koeman demanding a vast improvement on the attacking play that he believes cost them victory at Manchester United on Tuesday. Everton conceded a 94th-minute penalty to draw 1-1 at Old Trafford and while describing the final result as fair, the manager was scathing about his team’s failure to add to Phil Jagielka’s first-half goal.

“Conceding in the last seconds is always really painful but we had five or six big counterattacking moments and we did them wrong,” Koeman added. “We did not have one shot or even a chance from them and in my opinion that was the key to us not winning.

“We had so many chances in the second half to create more and it was really poor. I showed the players six or seven clips where we should have created at least five or six chances and we did not create one. It was not just Rom [Lukaku], it was Kevin Mirallas, Ross Barkley, Davies, Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

“If Dominic gives the right ball to Rom he is one-on-one with the keeper but our final pass and movement was really poor. Rom gets on the right against [Marcos] Rojo, [Eric] Bailly comes across and Ross is still not sprinting to get in the box for a one-on-one. I expect more from my offensive players.”

Leicester will be without their captain, Wes Morgan, against Everton and in their Champions League quarter-final tie with Atlético Madrid as the defender continues to nurse a back injury.

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