Everton announce the £1.7m signing of Demarai Gray from Bayer Leverkusen on a three-year deal as Rafa Benitez seals his third new arrival… and winger insists he can ‘develop’ at Goodison after brief spell in Germany
- Demarai Gray has become Everton’s third summer arrival after signing for £1.7m
- Former Leicester winger Gray joins the club after a spell with Bayer Leverkusen
- He has penned a three-year deal which also contains the option of another year
- Gray has insisted he can ‘develop’ at Everton and help them push on next season
Everton have officially announced the £1.7million signing of winger Demarai Gray from Bayer Leverkusen on a three-year contract.
Gray touched down in Florida, where the club are currently holding a pre-season training camp, on Thursday and successfully underwent his medical.
He has put pen to paper on a deal that also includes the option of a fourth year, and has become Everton’s third new addition his summer.
Everton confirmed the signing of Demarai Gray from Bayer Leverkusen on a three-year deal
A Premier League title-winner with Leicester from the 2015-16 season, Gray has also played for England at every level from Under-18 to Under-21.
Speaking to Everton’s in-house media channel, the 25-year-old admitted he is keen to help the club push for European football again.
‘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.
Gray touched down in Florida in Thursday for his medical before officially penning his contract
‘Speaking to the manager and [director of football] Marcel Brands, I had a really good feel for the Club and I feel this is a place where I can continue to develop.
‘The manager, with his ambition and what he has won in the past, is important and we’ll look to push forward and compete with the top clubs.
‘I think a club of this magnitude has all the potential to be right up there.
‘Collectively with what Marcel and the manager have said to me, everything fits, including the Club’s ambitions and goals.
A Premier League title-winner with Leicester from 2016, Gray is now returning to the top-flight
‘Everton are a very big club and the main objective is to be pushing and competing back up there in the table.
‘I want to work hard on the training pitch and work my hardest for the Club on the pitch.’
It was revealed in the sleek announcement video posted on Everton’s social media platforms that Gray will sport the No 11 shirt this season.
He initially progressed through the ranks at Birmingham before a move to Leicester saw him lift the top-flight trophy aged just 19.
Rafa Benitez has made Gray his third signing of the summer as he builds for the new season
However, Gray was allowed to leave the King Power in January after struggling for regular match action under Brendan Rodgers, and he then joined Leverkusen.
There, he made 12 appearances in total and scored one goal – and his sights are now firmly fixed on proving himself in England once again.
‘I want to push on, be a pivotal player in the squad, help the team score goals and assist goals,’ Gray added.
‘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.
Gray was able to leave Leicester in January after falling out of favour under Brendan Rodgers
‘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.’