Tom Davies joins Sheffield United

16/08/2023 39comments  |  Jump to last

Tom Davies has secured a place with Sheffield United after declining a new contract with Everton earlier this summer. 

The former Everton Academy graduate left the club as a free agent despite the offer of a new contract after spending 14 years with his boyhood club, working up through the levels in the Academy to secure a spot in the first-team squad that he maintained under a range of different managers.

The 25-year-old has signed a 3-year deal with The Blades, who won promotion to the Premier League after finishing runners-up in the Championship behind Burnley. 


Reader Comments (39)

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Mick Davies
1 Posted 16/08/2023 at 12:20:26
I wonder how Dom will feel, now his mate and fellow fashionista Tom Davies has gone to Sheffield Utd?
Phil Greenough
2 Posted 16/08/2023 at 13:19:43
Good luck to the lad.
Danny Baily
3 Posted 16/08/2023 at 13:32:11
Good for Tom. He did well to hang on for the right move.
David Bromwell
4 Posted 16/08/2023 at 13:32:26
Yes, good luck, Tom, never short of effort and never hid. Hope you get to enjoy your new club.
Rob Williamson
5 Posted 16/08/2023 at 14:03:20
One of the players who suffered most from our merry-go-round of managers. Never able to establish himself in the midfield. Was he an attacking or defensive midfielder?

As David at #4 said, he never hid and certainly didn't deserve the level of abuse that he got from some posters on this site. Hope he's able to establish himself at Bramall Lane.

As an aside, would those individuals who come out with the really nasty, personal comments online feel able to say the same if they were actually at the game? Just a thought…

Mark Taylor
6 Posted 16/08/2023 at 14:06:54
I've always seen Tom as Championship material at best so hopefully next season he'll be finding out if that is the case.
Denis Richardson
7 Posted 16/08/2023 at 14:26:31
Good luck to him but I think he'll be playing Championship football next season, which is probably his real level.

Didn't sound like there was a massive line of clubs after him when he left.

Steve Daniells
8 Posted 16/08/2023 at 15:06:17
Good luck to Tom! We had high hopes for him, especially after that goal vs Man City, but he definitely suffered from the constant change in managers.

I thought he was playing well under Lampard at the start of last season, but then got dropped as soon as Gana came back.

Like so many in recent years, it just didn't happen for him in an Blue shirt. I was sorry to see him go but hopefully he enjoys himself at Sheffield Utd.

Martin Reppion
9 Posted 16/08/2023 at 15:17:33
I wish him well. I will never complain about a player who gives 100%.

If he simply isn't good enough to be a regular in the team it isn't his fault.
Tom always looked to be trying hard to do his job.

Success is a simple formula. Ability x Effort x Luck = result.

Some better players, who can't be arsed, get beaten by those who put in a shift. It has always been the case. This is why players like Tom Davies will always have a future in the game.

Michael Kenrick
10 Posted 16/08/2023 at 15:20:19
It seems quite a few subscribe to this ailment as being the principal constraint on his success as a Premier League player:

"He definitely suffered from the constant change in managers."

How definite can that really be, though? And are those parroting this mantra really convinced that therein lies still a latent star who is destined to be picked up one day by the Saudi League, if only he could play consistently under one manager?

I suspect it's not something that definitive proof can be provided for, although at least one poster used the multiple manager argument and Tom's resilience in the squad as some form of testament to his unbowed footballing prowess.

However, this cause has been cited for the abysmal decline in pretty much all the players Everton have had over the last 7 years of Moshiri mis-rule, so there may indeed be some truth in it.

But perhaps him starting afresh and playing under a single (albeit, yet again 'new') manager for the coming season (manager merry-go-round notwithstanding) will prove this once and for all as he blows away all before him?

Hmmm... I'm still not convinced. But I will watch with interest to see how much better he performs for The Blades.

Dennis Stevens
11 Posted 16/08/2023 at 15:25:10
Assuming we'll see little or nothing of Gbamin, Gomes & Dele, then it's a shame he's gone, imo. Although, I'll readily revise that opinion if we bring somebody better in. That does seem a bit unlikely though.
Alan J Thompson
12 Posted 16/08/2023 at 15:59:25
I wouldn't be too quick to say it will be found out next season if he is a good Championship player as he might just show it against us.

Good luck, Tom.

James Flynn
13 Posted 16/08/2023 at 16:08:55
The league caught up to Tom Davies. He had no adjustment to make to alter this.

He had no pace and was devoid of lateral quickness. With a man marking him, he could not create that bit of space to make a pass and was routinely bullied off the ball.

Defending, virtually any opponent running with the ball could and would run right past him.

He had the determination and brains of a top player but not the body to match. No manager on earth was going to magically make Tom a better athlete.

Good luck to him, but he wasn't any good.

Dale Self
15 Posted 16/08/2023 at 16:25:19
Michael, I intended to avoid the Daviesology on the basis that it gets too much time because he is a local lad.

That question of how culpable was the manager merry-go-round is key. Typically a player that stays in the Premier League develops some guile or positional maturity that maximizes what they have in their physical portfolio.

While Tom was limited physically he had enough time at this level to advance somehow even with partner instability taken into account. His role was regular in its responsibilities and he never really filled the boots.

I put it all down to his going with the Amish look.

Ajay Gopal
16 Posted 16/08/2023 at 16:27:24
I have desperately wanted Tom to succeed with us at Everton, but it just didn't happen. As the Sheffield United manager said after announcing the signing about Tom's struggles at Everton (from the BBC website):
"That tends to happen a lot with young players that come through at a club, especially if it's turning over lots of different managers. Homegrown players and young players in those squads always seem to be treated a certain way. You can always be the one to get sacrificed, you can be the one who's thought of as beneath. That begins to affect lots of things."

He suffered abuse from some match going fans and here on TW (and strangely, he still does!), but I think he is capable of having a decent footballing career. Evertonians would also do well to remember the stellar work he has done with EiTC - by all accounts a decent and well-grounded human being. Good luck, Tom.

Sean Roe
17 Posted 16/08/2023 at 16:31:22
Good luck to him, I wish him all the best.

Always ready when called upon, no moaning or sulking when he didn't play.

Peter Mills
18 Posted 16/08/2023 at 16:33:04
I received a WhatsApp message from the Blades side of the family last night, asking for the lowdown on Tom. I replied:

“Looked very promising when he arrived on the scene 5/6 years ago, but has never commanded a place since, despite playing plenty of games.
Not very fast, doesn’t tackle very well, can’t shoot!
He seems a very decent lad, tries hard, versatile, never a problem with his attitude, just his ability at top level”.

My son was a bit more concise, and less charitable.

Good luck to the lad, except against us.

Christopher Timmins
19 Posted 16/08/2023 at 16:36:06
Good luck to Tom, a change of scenery might just revive his career.
Dave Abrahams
20 Posted 16/08/2023 at 16:38:29
I don’t think Tom ever got a consistent run in the team, maybe because he never earned it, I thought he was a decent player but I eventually thought after about three years playing in the team, in and out, he was a slow learner and continued to make the same mistakes particularly with his passing and when to play safe when the game was drawing to the end and we were leading, he rarely played the safe ball, long ball back to the keeper or a long ball up the field and out of play, wasting time and keeping the three points. In other words Tom hasn’t got a football brain.
Alex Gray
21 Posted 16/08/2023 at 16:39:58
It'll be interesting to see how he performs at Sheffield Utd. I am one of those who say the constant change in managers has affected his growth. I think that's not solely the reason mind you. The player needs to have a look at himself. However, young players need stability coming through to the first team.

Under Koeman you can argue we saw the best of Davies in glimpses and whilst some may say he's always been rubbish i'd argue that we had a player that was a lot more progressive and box to box when he burst on the scene. He was looking forwards when passing and actually made quite a few dynamic runs forward in his first season or two. The decision was then made to play him as a solely defensive midfielder simply because he tried to get stuck in. Tom Davies for me has never been and never will be a six. He was at his best as a box to box midfielder. Will he ever be a top premier league player? No. Has he been mismanaged? Absolutely.

Best of luck to him hopefully he starts to enjoy the game again.

Mike Gaynes
22 Posted 16/08/2023 at 16:44:30
Wishing him nothing but the best of success. He gave me the thrill of a lifetime in my first game at Goodison.

Tom may or may not have suffered from the changes in managers (personally I think that's an overstated issue), but that wasn't his problem. He most definitely suffered from the lack of pace, strength, composure on the ball and shooting ability.

But I have no doubt that his outsized heart, relentless effort and obvious commitment will carry him to a solid career.

Steve Shave
23 Posted 16/08/2023 at 17:04:43
Good luck Tom, I really hope it turns out to be a good move. Smashing lad, one of us, he endured a great deal of change whilst at the club which I think hampered his progress.
Ian Jones
24 Posted 16/08/2023 at 17:10:59
As some have suggested in the past and Dave mentions it above a lack of a consistent run in the side for whatever reasons doesn't help.

Can't remember which manager, club or player it all referred to but I saw an interview of a retired player who said the best thing for his progress as a younger player was to be told that he'd be in the team however he was playing. Gave him condidence to know the manager had faith in him. His team mates and the fans were all on board with the manager's decision.

Rob Dolby
25 Posted 16/08/2023 at 17:22:36
Good luck to him.

He played well over 100 times for the mighty blues, something that thousands of us can only dream of.

Reminded me a little bit of John Ebrell. England youth through all the levels. Broke into the first team early as an all action centre mid only to turn into a bit of a stopper/ clogger towards the end of his career with us.

Lee Courtliff
26 Posted 16/08/2023 at 17:29:32
I always defended him and thought he could be, at worst, a decent squad player. But that changed last season, especially after that unbelievably bad miss away at Bournemouth in the patience ran out with him.

But, I certainly wish him well in his career and will be cheering him on whenever I watch the Blades on telly, apart from against us obviously.

Good luck to a nice lad.

Frank Crewe
27 Posted 16/08/2023 at 17:45:20
I gave up on him a couple of seasons ago after he bottled it and passed to Mina who was obviously offside instead of shooting against ManU when we could have won the game. He simply wasn't good enough yet hung on to his place in the squad because he was a local lad. Same as the recently departed Simms. If they are not good enough then being a local lad won't make them any better.
Peter Moore
29 Posted 16/08/2023 at 19:28:46
A wealthy man already, despite never getting anywhere near the promise shown by his very early sensation goal as we swept aside Pep's Man City 4 nil!

Who would have thought after that, that it would have been such disappointing Everton career?

Good luck to Tom anyway, hope he can make a place for himself in the team and reach his potential, if he is yet to do so.

Paul Ferry
30 Posted 16/08/2023 at 20:31:42
The very best of luck to Tom for this next chapter in his career. One or two of our academy erm "rejects" or "failures" did well at Sheffield United and put their careers back on track. I hope that Tom joins him/them.

He made a somewhat brave decision to end his time with us – if only others had the integrity to do the same. He merits some good wishes for that alone rather than the now very dull repetitive monochrome knocking that some still feel a need to give, even though Tom is gone.

Christy Ring
31 Posted 16/08/2023 at 20:46:36
Delighted to see Tom get a 3-year contract. He always gave 100% effort, but never got a chance to establish himself, because different managers played him in different positions.

Sad to see Evertonians still criticising him. Unlike others at the club, he wasn't interested in picking up wages and sitting on the bench.

Shane Corcoran
32 Posted 16/08/2023 at 21:04:39
Tom was very unlucky to have so many managers realise very quickly that he wasn’t very good relative to the level he was playing at.

Seemed a nice lad though.

Stephen Williams
33 Posted 16/08/2023 at 22:26:36
Mike (22),
Couldn’t have put it better myself, so I won’t try.
Thoroughly decent lad who I hope enjoys his football and his life.
Jack Convery
34 Posted 17/08/2023 at 02:25:05
Good luck to him, though not when playing against Everton.

He always gave of his best but not quite good enough to hold a place down in the team. Great human being given his charity work in our city.

Danny O’Neill
35 Posted 17/08/2023 at 06:29:39
Another who didn't quite live up to the early expectation and hopes we had for him. Maybe that was too high?

When we look back, he wasn't helped with the uncertainty around the club and roulette wheel of managers he was subject to in his developmental years. That has arguably affected a lot of players at Everton these past years, young and experienced. They don't know if they are coming are going.

Step away from football, if you get a new boss every year, they come in with their own ideas and there is uncertainty as to whether you are part of them. It impacts people.

He seemed well liked around the club but also got battered by certain sections of the crowd. I was sometimes critical, but only in the same way I would criticise any player for a poor performance. Just as much as I will praise for a good one.

What I like is that Tom has made a football decision. He's gone to play football more regularly. Quite refreshing in the modern game. He doesn't want to sit on a bench, even at his boyhood club. He wants to play.

I'm sure he will get a good reception on his return to Goodison. And as one of us, he should always be made welcome.

Mark Dunford
36 Posted 17/08/2023 at 09:53:03
Good luck to him. He was an excellent ambassador for Everton and it is a real shame that it didn't work out on the pitch as it could, perhaps should, have done.
Rick Tarleton
37 Posted 17/08/2023 at 10:21:26
I hope the lad does well. He possibly didn't fulfill his early promise or hype, but I'll always remember that goal against Man City.

He gave his all and was often the unjustified target of the boo boys. Good luck, Tom.

Tony Everan
38 Posted 17/08/2023 at 13:16:27
Regardless of instability or managerial changes, if Tom Davies was good enough, he would have made the central midfield position his own; he never could. It's a fantastic move for him, on a 3-year deal at a very passionately supported club.

Whether a player is good enough or not is one thing, whether they are committed and try their best is another. No one could accuse him of not doing the latter. He stayed too long, but maybe Covid played a part in some players sticking where they are.

Good luck, lad, apart from when you play us.

Ashley Roberts
39 Posted 18/08/2023 at 13:21:06
Good luck Tom. I hope you have a successful season and do well apart from when you play the blues of course!!
Dave Abrahams
40 Posted 19/08/2023 at 09:38:34
Well Tom is still a premier league player, for now, despite a few mentioning he is a championship player. Very best of luck Tom with the rest of your career, there might be a few squeaky bums on here when he plays against us!
Danny O’Neill
41 Posted 19/08/2023 at 10:15:29
Dave, I'm not placing him in the same class of footballer category and it's a totally different scenario, but hypothetically, if Tom scored against us, I think we'd see more of a Dennis Law type of reaction. I think Tom Davies will get a good reception when he returns to Goodison.

As opposed to Anthony Gordon's reaction after the Newcastle match last season.

I get the passion of the game and the moment, but there was no need for that. He only played about 5 minutes at which point the result was done and dusted. Okay, he's with his new squad and celebrating, I can understand that too. But come on. Surely as a boyhood Evertonian, you have some sort of empathy. If I had ever been privileged enough to be in that position, of course I'm going to do my job against Everton. But I'd be equally gutted that we'd lost 4 - 1 and couldn't celebrate. Maybe that's just me.

I've never understood Steve McMahon or Jamie Carragher. I suppose the other way around, we could mention Peter Reid?

Anyway, given Gordon's outburst at Eddie Howe and rumours I heard, he seems to have a bit of an attitude problem. Hopefully he'll grow out of it.

We all understand that players move on and are sometimes moved on by the club. Alan Ball and more recently Wayne Rooney's interview spring to mind. I'm not saying Rooney was never going to leave. He was destined to greater things for what Everton could offer. But he stated that he wasn't looking to move at the time, but when the club tried to sell him to Chelsea, which he didn't want, he decided on his own destiny.

We are often quick to criticise the player. We often ignore that behind the scenes, the clubs are treating them as commodities and business assets. Everton are not alone in that, but we are pretty good at selling off prize "assets", stepping back and letting the player take the flak.

I digress. At least Tom Davies has made a footballing career decision. No one can deny him that and I am sure most of us wish him the best.

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