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Demarai Gray joins Everton from Bayer Leverkusen for £1.7m

Everton’s third summer signing in a couple of days has been completed and it is former Leicester City winger Demarai Gray.

The 25-year-old has signed a deal that will keep him at the club until 2024 and this transfer is the first that has actually cost Everton money as they have paid £1.7m for his signature.

Gray, who will wear the number 11 on the back of his shirt, also has the option for a further year.

He only joined Bayer Leverkusen in 2021 looking for consistent first team football after being a squad player at Leicester City.

Unfortunately for Gray he did not find consistent gametime in Germany as he played 10 games for Bayer Leverkusen but only racked up 437 minutes of action.

Therefore he will have a lot to prove on his return to the Premier League and he is delighted to be joining Everton.

“I’m delighted to be back in the Premier League at such a big club and I’m excited to play with the team and get to work,” Gray told evertontv.

After coming through the ranks at Birmingham City Gray joined Leicester City in 2016 and played 169 games for the club.

However, he only ever completed 90 minutes  in 32 of those outings in a Leicester shirt showing that he was never considered one of the first names on the team sheet whilst he was there.

At Everton he will be wanting to nail down a starting spot from the get go.

“I want to push on, be a pivotal player in the squad, help the team score goals and assist goals,” said Gray.

“I feel like I’m at a period in my career now where I can put everything together and achieve the targets I have set for myself, personally, I just want to help this team succeed, win games and be up there in the table, and to enjoy my football.

“I’m a speedy, tricky winger who enjoys running with the ball. I like to play anywhere along the front three and I feel like I can be dangerous in all areas. And with the ability I know I have and the belief in myself, I can help this team.”

His speed on the flanks is something that Everton have needed for some time with the likes of Iwobi, James Rodriguez, Bernard and even Richarlison not being pure speedsters.

Whilst at Leicester Gray scored 13 goals and got 17 assists so his output will need some improving which Rafa Benitez will certainly focus on with him especially when he has Dominic Calvert-Lewin to cross it into.

“Speaking to the manager and Marcel, I had a really good feel for the Club and I feel this is a place where I can continue to develop, for a player, it’s important to feel their trust and belief. 

“I obviously have to repay that on the pitch and deliver to help the team but, with what Marcel and the manager have said to me, everything fits, including the Club’s ambitions and goals. 

“Speaking to the manager gave me the feeling he is someone who is very passionate, ambitious and can help me develop, that’s key because that’s the main aim,” said Gray.

Of course Gray has a Premier League winners medal to his name and he will be hoping to add more medals to his collection at Everton.

It is another smart signing from Everton as they now have a hungry quick ball carrying attacker who can play anywhere across the frontline.

More business is to be done of course however it is a promising start to the transfer window as money is not being wasted like lots of previous summers.

Gray has already joined up with his new team on their pre-season tour in Florida.

Image credit: Getty Images

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