When Tom Davies signed a new contract to keep the academy graduate at Goodison Park until 2023, Marco Silva stated that the 20-year-old was an important player for the Toffees in the present and future.
However, since Davies agreed to extend his Merseyside stay for another year, he has not played a minute of football and Football Insider have reported that a source close to Everton has told them that the club are ready to test Swansea’s resistance, by launching a double swoop on South Wales for Daniel James and Matt Grimes.
What sort of figures that double bid would include were not noted in Football Insider’s report, but Leeds United had come close to signing James on Deadline Day back in January when the Elland Road outfit agreed to a combined £10million loan-to-buy, only for Swansea to pull the plug at the eleventh hour.
What first attracted the Whites to James’ abilities was his burst of pace on the wings, that has now helped the 21-year-old to five goals and seven assists across all club competitions.
His efforts at the Liberty Stadium during his breakthrough campaign have also led to senior international caps with Wales and the admiration of several Premier League sides – Manchester City and Southampton have both shown a keen interest.
Grimes, on the other hand, joined Swansea back in 2015 from Exeter City and has arguably been the Jacks’ best player this season, and that is a view shared by Swansea’s own players having voted the 23-year-old their Players’ Player of the Year, as well as being named the club’s Away Player and Personality of the Year.
Swans boss Graham Potter has not been short of praise for his central midfielder, either, and recently noted: “He is an intelligent footballer who every day does his very best, he is a model professional.
“He has been fantastic. From early pre-season he showed the type of character he was, stepping in at left-back, wanting to help and do his bit for the team.
“He didn’t get disappointed when he didn’t play. He waited for his chance and he has grown and grown as the season has gone on.”
Although minutes were hard for Grimes to find when he first joined Swansea, he has been a near ever-present this season under Potter, and it would be more so the arrival of the central midfielder than James’ that would be to the detriment of Davies.
While James plays out on the wing and would likely be brought to Goodison Park to act as understudy to Richarlison and Bernard – much like Ademola Lookman at present – Grimes plays in the same pockets of space that our six-time captain enjoys, and has excelled in the defensive aspects of the game.
From his 45 Championship appearances this term – 40 of which were starts, the third most of any Swansea player – Grimes managed to average 2.5 tackles, 0.9 interceptions, 1.5 clearances and just 0.6 fouls per game – Davies only betters his interceptions per game ratio with 1.0.
Grimes could also be seen as the replacement to Morgan Schneiderlin, should the Frenchman be sold in the summer, but the former Manchester United midfielder’s exit would not ease the competition Davies faces for further minutes in Royal Blue, of which Silva has already discussed.
“It’s really important to secure Tom’s future here at Everton,” the boss said at the time of Davies’ contract extension. “He’s an important player for us now and he will be going forward, for sure.
“He’s had some very good moments this season, captaining the team and taking big responsibility on his shoulders. Even when he has not played because the competition is really tough, he has shown his desire in the way he works always.
“He’s a player from our academy, he loves our club and he will be a really important player in the years to come.”