Pundit backs former Leicester man to ‘shine’ at Everton

Date published: Monday 26th July 2021 9:14 - James Holland

Demarai Gray Everton F365

Pundit Noel Whelan says Demarai Gray will ‘shine’ at Everton if he is given regular game time by manager Rafa Benitez.

The English winger spent five years at Leicester City before being sold to Bayer Leverkusen in January.

He made 12 appearances for the Bundesliga side in the second half of the campaign, scoring one goal and registering two assists.


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He’s now returned to the Premier League after Everton paid £1.6million for his services.

Speaking about Gray, Whelan told Football Insider: “I think he is going to shine this season, I really do.

“He is a player that needs to be playing week in, week out. For too long he has been a bit-part player or an impact substitute.

“There is a huge amount of potential there but he did not realise it at Leicester. He has become an unknown.

“I think Everton have done an amazing bit of business by bringing in a player for next to nothing who has his best years ahead of him.

“He needs to feel wanted and play every week. If you give him confidence and belief he will reward you. I think he will shine if he is given a big role by Benitez.”

Gray was tipped for big things as a youngster but has yet to realise his full potential.

He was a Premier League regular in the 17/18 and 18/19 campaigns but saw his game time decrease in the following season.

The 25-year-old became surplus to requirements under Brendan Rodgers due to the emergence of Harvey Barnes.

Whelan has previously revealed his surprise that there weren’t more suitors for Gray.

Speaking last week, the former Leeds man said: “He’s a fantastic player.

“I’m just surprised it’s only Everton in the running. We’ve seen the ability he has.

“Although he struggled at Leicester, £1.5million is next to nothing for a player who is only 25.”

The Toffees are set to be without Richarlison for the start of the season after allowing him to play for Brazil at the Olympics.

Depending on their success, he could miss the first three league fixtures against Southampton, Leeds and Brighton respectively.

 

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