Reggae Boyz target signs with Everton

July 23, 2021
Demarai Gray
Demarai Gray

LONDON (CMC):

Reggae Boyz target Demarai Gray has completed a transfer from German outfit Bayer Leverkusen to English Premier League club Everton on a three-year deal for a reported fee of PS1.7 million (US$2.3 million).

Gray, 25, whose contract includes the option for a fourth year, is the third signing of new manager Rafael Benitez after winger Andros Townsend, who is of paternal Jamaican and maternal Greek Cypriot descent, and goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, joined the club.

Gray, who won the Premier League with Leicester City in 2016, has joined up with the Everton squad in Orlando for the Florida Cup.

"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 said.

"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."

Birmingham-born Gray left Leicester in January 2021 and signed an 18-month deal with Bayer Leverkusen, but he made only 12 appearances for the Bundesliga side last season, scoring one goal.

In March, Jamaica Football Federation president Michael Ricketts included Gray in a list of English players with Jamaican heritage he suggested were "in the process of acquiring their Jamaican passport", as part of the country's plan to improve its chances of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup.

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