Everton manager Sam Allardyce has commended Davy Klaassen's approach to training as he bids to force his way back into the first-team at Goodison Park but says he has not seen enough from the Dutchman to afford him a chance to revive his ailing career on Merseyside.
Klaassen began the season in Ronald Koeman's starting line-up but swiftly lost his place as the Toffees' campaign quickly went south. The former Ajax captain, who skippered the Dutch giants against Manchester United in the Europa League final last season, has not featured in the Premier League since September and has featured just once since Allardyce was appointed manager - the 24-year-old was afforded a start in the dead rubber against Apollon Limassol in December.
Klaassen was allowed to leave Everton during the January transfer window and was of interest to Serie A leaders Napoli [Tuttomercatoweb] but a loan move to Mauricio Sarri's side failed to materialise.
Since seeing a move to Naples fall through Klaassen has endeavoured to fight his way back into Everton's starting eleven. But while Allardyce cannot not fault his disposition, he can't find an adequate to restore the Netherlands international to the first-team at this moment in time, though he admits that could change between now and the end of the season.
"At the moment Davy Klaassen comes in and trains as best as he possibly can and does all what he can on a regular basis," Allardyce told the Liverpool Echo.
"He's not a sulker, he tries his hardest every time he comes into training. But at the moment we see what we see, and we see the qualities of the players and haven't quite seen that in Davy to encourage us to put him in.
"He's got big competition and that big competition is something you have to accept and try and improve so if you do get the chance then you take that opportunity. Maybe somewhere down the line we will give him an opportunity."
Klaassen is not the only peripheral figure striving for a chance at Everton. Centre-back Ramiro Funes Mori is hoping Allardyce will see fit to give him some precious minutes between now and the end of the season as he seeks to sneak back into Argentina's squad for the World Cup.
The former River Plate star has been out for almost a year with serious knee problems, but having seen the likes of Yannick Bolasie and Seamus Coleman handed starts immediately after recovering from long absences, Funes Mori wants Allardyce to do similar with him.
"It's difficult, being injured for a long time," Funes Mori said, per The Mirror. "It's tough but I had support from my family and I'm very strong mentally. I'm very happy to be fully fit, and I'm looking forward to joining the team."
"It's difficult when you're injured and a new manager comes in. It's tough because you want to show what you can give to the team and to the club.
"But he knows every player, I think he has given opportunities to every injured player that's come back so I am waiting for that opportunity also."