Some players break any form of convention, others totally go their own way with style. For Tom Davies, he does both. Talking through the story so far as the summer sets in, we go toe-to-toe with a playmaker who sets the tone.

Tom Davies’ first ever Premier League goal is worth re-living. The multi-layered celebration says it all while the battling build-up epitomises a player who has grafted his given talents to the very top. Running away from experienced pros, getting back up from a brick-wall challenge and yet finishing the move in unfazed style. This is a player who, at just 19 years-old, stands out as a ringleader for the next generation.

Reclaiming individuality that is so easily lost in a contemporary game, he resets the rules and steals back a solid sentiment of football. Style as well as substance, we give you the creative, Tom Davies.

Before we talk style, can you tell us about your footballing education, what’s it been like to come through the Everton academy?

Well obviously it’s a great place to be for young players. The people there, the coaches … the attitude around the place is just totally dedicated to football, as you can imagine, and I’m grateful for that upbringing and to have come through the academy.

Can you remember the moment you were spotted and brought into the academy?

"Yeah, I remember going to Everton for a few trials when I was younger and going through it all. The scouts that took me through it eventually asked me to go back and told me that Everton wanted to see me again. I was playing at Tranmere at the time. I wasn’t sure what to do, but obviously I went down there and had another trial. I remember going into that environment being quite a scary thing to go through at a young age, but it was an experience I’d definitely go through all over again. It was the start of me getting to where I am now."

What about that split second when you were told Everton wanted you? Jumping around the room with excitement?

"Yeah I remember getting that phone call. I had been away in Spain with the team, it had all gone really well, and a couple of the coaches got in touch with a couple of the scouts and they phoned my mum and dad to let me know. I was obviously thrilled and I can remember that excitement and the joy – and also a sense of relief really as it meant it was looking like I’d get to be able to do what I always wanted to do."

Who have been the big influences for you coming through?

"In my life generally, it has to be the people that I have around me. I have a different mixture of people around me from different walks of life and I think I’ve taken different pieces of advice from all of them. My dad, my mum and my brother are definitely my biggest influences. The way I have been brought up has given me my outlook and I think that shows in the way I play football and just generally how I conduct myself."

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You come across as quite a creative person. Did you have a lot of creative influence around you as you were growing up?

"Yeah I think so. I think I’ve always been encouraged to do what I want to do and what makes me happy. Being told to just go out there and be the person I want to be has been a big thing for me and having the upbringing I did has given me the confidence to give everything I can to everything I do. Having the family I do has given me a lot of positive influence."

What’s it been like to make that transition over the last few seasons and find yourself very much part of the first team?

"It’s been a big learning curve. I almost see it as two parts – going through the academy is one part of it and then pushing into the first team as the second part. It’s definitely been a big change. At the academy you know everyone and you will have been in those surroundings for a while. There’s a different consistency there too as you’re with the coaches for a while, but when you move into the first team it becomes a bit more of a personal change. Your coaches can change regularly and the staff around you can change with that, but it’s definitely a challenge I enjoy and being around the very best players while trying to be one of the best too is an opportunity I’d thrive in."

Is there more of a shift into a professional environment where the stakes are higher?

"The step up means anything can change at any time. There’s always someone looking to take your position and, similarly, I’m always looking to take someone else’s and better myself. There could always be someone coming up behind you, so it’s definitely a switch in the mentality of everything. That’s the environment where I want to be and it’s something you get used to. Where the academy is a lot of fun and great to be involved in, the first-team environment is a strong step up and a chance to take the game on."

Making your debut at 17 – what was that rush of emotion like?

"It was a crazy time. People ask me about when I went on and I really can’t remember much from it at all as the adrenaline really does take over. Making my debut though was a really proud moment for all of us and it was made special as another lad from the academy [Callum Connolly] made his debut on the same day, so I’ve always had someone close with me to kind of share that experience with. After the game it was obviously a chance to be with family and was a proud moment all round."

Can you remember the shock after the game where you process what just happened?

"Yeah, I was actually speaking to one of the staff at Everton about this recently. When you go on, you go through it all and then in the changing room after the game you’re obviously buzzing to have got on the pitch and we also got a decent result too. But it wasn’t until after it all when Callum and I were doing an interview together and I just couldn’t stop laughing. Every point our lives had been building up to that and we’d been through it all together. Going to the academy, going to the same school and then we got to that point. I was just filled with joy and couldn’t stop laughing – all that emotion was just flooding out in laughter."

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Having now made in excess of 50 Premier League appearances, how much do you live for that adrenaline? That moment you’re in the tunnel - does it leave you wanting more and hungry for the next?

"I think it comes with different things as well. For example, when I started playing, the pure excitement of playing was what it was all about. But now, you want to get that high from winning games, from scoring goals, from giving assists – that’s where I’m at now, I want to build and better myself. Obviously I’ve got to score more goals and add that to my game. The goals I have scored, they have naturally come with that massive feeling but it only makes you want more."

Fast-forward and you scored that goal against Leicester that registered as the joint fastest Premier League goal of the season. When you think about that kind of record, how mad is it to have your name attached to it?

"That was a strange one. The game had only just kicked off and before you know it we had got a goal. For me, getting a goal was enough of something to celebrate but to get it that early in the game was strange but also amazing."

You’ve got a lot of experience at a young age; you’ve also got past that age where a lot of potential players reach their make or break moment. Have you used that as extra motivation?

"Yeah I think so. Football can be cruel but I don’t want to be that person that doesn’t fulfil their potential. I want to get to the highest I possibly can and be the person that I know I can be. I feel that I’ve kind of done well so far in my career but I still want to perform better and better. That thing in my mind about achieving my goals and not being dragged down is important for me personally."

Across social media, your appearance is cool. It’s very considered. Do you like to present yourself as a creative person?

"I like fashion and I like different types of clothes so, ultimately, for me the way I dress is a way of me trying to show my personality. I might come across a little bit different to people, but I’ve been brought up in an environment that says be who you want to be – so that’s what I do. It’s my personality coming through more than anything."

Where do you get your influence from? How would you define your style?

"I don’t know really. I think we’re all influenced by our surroundings and the environment we’re in. For me, the people around you give you ideas and stuff but I think my style is probably reflective of my upbringing. Liverpool as a city is a place with a lot of good going on. I enjoy being in various parts of the city and seeing the way different people dress. I like Bold Street best; there’s good food, good stores, and it’s a nice place that fits well with me."

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As a contemporary player coming through, part of the next generation, what does your day look like when you finish training?

"It depends really. Usually after training I’ll probably come into town, get some coffee and some food. Probably see my brother and some friends. I’d largely just chill around town – not doing too much really but we always seem to have a good time. Other than that, I’m just back home with my mum and dad and I’ll chill around there."

Bringing adidas into the equation, having a connection to the brand, does that also give you a chance to experiment with your look?

"Definitely. I’ve always loved adidas. I have since I was young. It’s been the same for my dad and brother, they’ve always been big into it. I really like the Originals stuff and in particular the skateboarding side of it. It’s a brand that I’ve always loved so to have a bit more of a formal connection too is pretty big for me. The way the brand goes through a lot of cultures is good. I wouldn’t say I’m only into the Originals stuff or only into the football side of the brand; I like it all, and the way they work together is reflective of my personality. I like to take pieces from each and enjoy that way of bringing them together."

Like you say, it’s a brand that cuts through many cultures. How big is music for you?

"I like all types of music. I saw Rejjie Snow is touring soon – he’s an Irish rapper from Dublin and he’s got a new album coming out. He’s playing in Manchester so hopefully I’ll get to go and see him. I get to a few gigs. My brother and I went down to London recently to watch Anderson Paak. That was good. I just like all different music. I was going to see Nick Mulvey recently but had to miss that, and I saw Kendrick Lamar not long ago… I like music in general and I get different things out of different styles of music. I can’t play an instrument, but I’d definitely like to start playing the guitar. I wouldn’t say there’s any music I’m not into. Take grime as an example – it might not be my go to but I can listen to it at different times. Music is like that. In the changing room before a game that type of thing is perfect." 

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Leighton Baines carries a guitar with him doesn’t he? Could get some tips off him…

"[laughs] Yeah, we should get a little band going."

As you look towards the summer, can we expect to see you at any festivals?

"They appeal to me in a big way, I’m just not sure if I’ll be able to fit them in. I know it’s not on this year but places like Glastonbury and Coachella are festivals I’d love to go to. Obviously Coachella is in America and during the season but it would be good to experience that. There’s another in Barcelona, Primavera, that I’d love to go to. Same for another in Lisbon, NOS Alive. Arctic Monkeys are at both with their new album… I’ll have to see what I’m doing in the summer. Rex Orange County is on on the same day as Arctic Monkeys at Primavera – I love him. Same for Tyler the Creator, people like that, I love that type of music."

Let’s talk about the international set-up and watching England as a fan as much as a player – do the big tournaments grab your attention?

"I think the first game that grabbed me was England against Portugal in 2004. It was when Rooney got sent off. We had everyone around the house; it was a beautiful summer. We put the telly in the back garden and had all the wires coming through the house. That moment when Rooney got sent off, I think I had face paint on and all that sort of stuff. There would have been more than 10 of us with umbrellas up watching the telly in the back garden [laughs]."

This summer, if you’re watching it as a fan, will you get sucked into it like everyone else?

"Absolutely. For the Euros in France, I was on holiday and I wasn’t sure where I was going to be able to watch it. That first game was approaching and I just sacked everything off to go and find somewhere to watch the game. When we qualified out of the group stage, I just thought, “I’m gonna go, I’ve got to go to Paris”. I ended up going with one of my friends and we went to watch the game against Iceland. It was unbelievable. It will probably be the same for me again this year. I’ll probably go on holiday and end up watching every game."

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How much desire do you have to continue that England progression and make it into the first team?

"Playing for England, it would mean everything for me. It would mean everything to my family. It would be an unbelievable step in my career to get to that level and to be able to say that I’ve done it and obviously from there to go on and do it again and again, that’s the dream. I remember all those moments as a kid watching England so to go out there and actually do it would be incredible. It’s something I want to do in my career and hopefully I can do it soon. I don’t think I can visualise what it would be like until it’s actually happening to me. I want to make it happen."

Have you had much time to think about this summer? Away from football, where will you go? What will you do?

"I think I’m just going to plan it as it comes. I’ll see what the summer brings and just get a flight to wherever, whenever. I’ll probably deal with what’s in front of me, when I get to where I decide to go. That’s kind of how I like to do things. I was thinking about going to Asia again, maybe Thailand. Just flying there and dealing with what to do when I’m out there. I like the idea of exploring and not knowing where I may end up. Rather than planning it all out and saying I’m going here, there and everywhere, I might want to change my mind as I go and find somewhere new."

Tom Davies was Speaking to SoccerBible Magazine for Issue 11. He wears Gosha Rubchinskiy x adidas Football and the Spring/Summer 18 adidas SPEZIAL collection. You can pick up a copy of that as well as '32/12' the World Cup Special Edition magazine here.