Thursday, January 27, 2022

Everton Close To Recruiting This English Winger For £1.6m: Is He A Good Option For The Toffees?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent report, Sky Sports claimed that Everton are close to recruiting Bayer 04 Leverkusen winger Demarai Gray for £1.6m this summer. It is understood that the English wide player will have his medical in Florida where the Toffees are currently participating in the Florida Cup (via Sky Sports).

Gray’s Uneventful Spell In German Football

Gray sealed a permanent move to Leverkusen back in January and showed some flashes of promise in the second half of last season. However, the Birmingham-born talent was far from consistent for the German outfit as he scored just one goal and provided two assists in 12 matches for them in multiple competitions.

The 25-year-old could only manage to average 1.5 shots, 0.9 key passes, 0.5 crosses and 0.9 dribbles per game in the Bundesliga. However, it is worth noting that half of his appearances for Leverkusen came as a substitute which explains his lack of consistency in the final third. However, Gray distributed possession quite well in the opposition half after completing 77.1% of his attempted passes in the German first division (stats via whoscored).

The ex-Leicester City wide player has still got a lot to learn before he can make himself a prominent feature in top-flight football. However, Everton boss Rafael Benitez could be the ideal man to get the best out of him at Merseyside in the coming seasons.

Everton close to recruiting Demarai Gray for £1.6m (Gray is seen in the picture)
06.07.2021, Fussball, Saison 2021/2022, Training Bayer 04 Leverkusen, v. l. Demarai Gray Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Mitchell Weiser Bayer 04 Leverkusen Leverkusen BayArena NRW Deutschland xRHR-FOTO/DEx *** 06 07 2021, Football, 2021 2022 season, Training Bayer 04 Leverkusen, v l Demarai Gray Bayer 04 Leverkusen , Mitchell Weiser Bayer 04 Leverkusen Leverkusen BayArena NRW Germany xRHR PHOTO ENx

Is Gray A Good Option For The Toffees?

Gray can make full use of his quickness and agility to make some eye-catching runs in the opponent’s half. He is a good dribbler with the ball and can be a hard man to catch when left isolated in a 1v1 foot chase with the opposition.

The English attacker can shoot the ball with power from long range but needs to figure out a way to improve his end-product in the attacking end of the field. He is primarily a left-sided winger but can even fill in as a right-sided wide player or operate as an attacking midfielder down the middle.

Everton could be a good destination for him as Benitez has the experience, pedigree and man-management skills to make the most out of his talents at Goodison Park over the next few seasons. He will offer some serious competition for Alex Iwobi and could give the Toffees some much-needed width out on the flanks.

Hence, Gray would be a decent option for the Merseyside outfit to consider during this summer transfer period as his addition could go a long way in helping Everton cope with injuries, suspensions and fixture congestion better in the future.

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