Gray weighs in with an assist on Jamaica debut

25/06/2023 83comments  |  Jump to last

Demarai Gray made his full international debut for Jamaica yesterday, setting up the goal for the "Reggae Boyz" in a 1-1 draw with the United States.

Having played 28 times for England Under-21s, the Everton winger switched his national allegiance to Jamaica this year and was capped at senior level for the first time in the Concacaf Gold Cup opener in Chicago.

Gray delivered the cross for Damion Lowe to give the Jamaicans and early lead and Aston Villa winger Leon Bailey could have doubled the lead later in the first half but his penalty was saved and he failed to convert the rebound.

Brandon Vasquez ensured that the USA didn't begin the tournament with defeat, scoring an 88th-minute equaliser.

Article continues below video content

Meanwhile, Sky Sports News are reporting that Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal are seriously interested in signing Gray this summer, with a delegation from that club set to travel to London next week to hold talks with the player's representatives.

In an echo of big-money moves made by England-based players to China a few years ago, a slew of players from Europe's top leagues are being drawn to the Saudi Pro League with the offer of huge salaries and Gray is the first member of the Everton squad to be linked with a switch to the kingdom this summer.

There has been talk that the Blues could look to capitalise on Gray's value during the current transfer window as Sean Dyche looks to add more height and potency to his forward line.

Everton paid just £1.7m for Gray when they signed him from Bayer Leverkusen two years ago and could potentially demand significantly more for him if they were to sell him this summer to raise cash for incoming transfers.


Reader Comments (83)

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Paul Hewitt
1 Posted 25/06/2023 at 16:52:12
Could be on his way to the Saudi league. Hopefully we get a nice big fee.
Tony Everan
3 Posted 25/06/2023 at 17:25:00
Pleased for him, Paul 1, I’d be sorry to see him go but we have to start behaving like an astute business with P&S rules to satisfy. If we had nine lives we’ve used them all up.

As he is entering the last year of his contract we have to be listening to offers rather than let him go on a free. He’s a good player, anything over £10m would be decent business.

Mike Hayes
4 Posted 25/06/2023 at 17:52:06
We’ll end up selling all our players and getting in a squad full of frees or loans the way we are heading 🤷😡
David Bromwell
5 Posted 25/06/2023 at 17:58:47
Frightening times, in the next few weeks we are likely to be linked with numerous players both incoming and outgoing, but what happens if we wish to progress any deals ? Who will be leading negotiations ? Surely not our vastly experienced Chairman who has such a wonderful record for securing the very best talent available at very little cost.
Robert Tressell
6 Posted 25/06/2023 at 18:06:13
I'd be quite worried to see Gray go. He might not be top class or a nailed on starter but he's a key part of our strength in depth in attack - and he's weighed in with vital goals and performances over the past couple of seasons.

I'd rather have him than get circa £15m sale proceeds.

Nick White
7 Posted 25/06/2023 at 18:15:15
I’d rather keep him but if he does go we need to sign a replacement before he goes. Would make a nice change that!
Tony Everan
8 Posted 25/06/2023 at 18:16:26
Robert, I think he is a very useful player too, but it’s the one year left on his contract that could sway things. There’s been no rumours yet of Dyche wanting to give him a new one.
Nick Page
9 Posted 25/06/2023 at 18:42:45
Would be folly to let Gray go as he’s a good player and offers something different. Can’t be on big wages either. Skilful and has goals in him. Wouldn’t look bad in any side. However, as long as the total incompetent fuckwits running the football club aka Bungalow Bill Kenwright and his sidekick Uncle Farhad are around we’ll do the worst thing possible and sell him for a few magic beans.

Onwards and upwards

Ian Bennett
10 Posted 25/06/2023 at 18:55:11
He's out of contract next summer and will be looking for a big long term contract.

For me he's not done enough to warrant it, but then again neither has Iwobi really convinced either.

If you can get £10-15m for Gray I'd move him on.

For Iwobi if you someone was willing to give you a sizable percentage of what he cost, id move him on as well. Works hard, and creative - but one of life's nearly players - wanting £100k a week.

Jack Convery
11 Posted 25/06/2023 at 18:59:04
If he goes I would reckon Dyche will want Jack Harrison from Leeds. Like Gray he can play both wings. He can also play attacking midfield.

Given he got little game time after Dyche arrived I expect him to leave, whatever happens with the Saudis.

Mike Gaynes
12 Posted 25/06/2023 at 19:03:01
Robert #6 and Tony #8, disagree.

Demarai had two goals and an assist from open play (plus two penalties) in 2500 league minutes last season. One goal involvement every 800 minutes for a Prem forward is simply awful.

And he contributed absolutely nothing for the second half of the previous season as well, except for THAT free kick against Palace.

For all his skills, Gray is a player who constantly makes really bad decisions. Let's not make a worse one. If there's silly Saudi money on the table for him, snap it up and give his empty minutes to Simms or Cannon.

Mike Gaynes
13 Posted 25/06/2023 at 19:10:15
Jack #11, in March and April, Dyche gave Gray seven consecutive starts. Demarai did absolutely nothing with the opportunity. His only goal was a pen, which was earned by McNeil.

I too expect him to leave.

Kevin Molloy
14 Posted 25/06/2023 at 19:14:00
He's a top player, but he needs a manager who understands what his strengths and weaknesses are. Dyche doesn't fancy him, so we are better off getting shut, which is a shame. But better to get players in who can fit better into his system.
Mark Ryan
15 Posted 25/06/2023 at 19:30:49
I'd only keep him provided Dyche plays him. He is wasted sat on his arse.

Get a striker that won't happen) and play him as an out-and-out winger.

Dale Self
16 Posted 25/06/2023 at 19:34:55
A difficult decision for me. While he did not convince up front, I think he gets a pass since he'd rarely get one from Doucouré or others.

On the other hand, as a forward, he never really figured out how to consistently create a threat. We are minus one here again as we need a No 10 to make him effective and those are pricey so we can't immediately just acquire what's needed to work out.

If Harrison is coming in, then he is surplus but until others come in, it is risky moving him on. I like him and believe he has some contributions to offer but contractually and market wise we may not be able to keep him relative to the value of the potential transfer.

Geoff Lambert
17 Posted 25/06/2023 at 20:13:24
£15 million woud be good business for an average at best squad member. Not good enough for long enough.
Jamie Crowley
18 Posted 25/06/2023 at 20:20:28
I couldn't agree more with Mike. If we get money for Gray, snap the proverbial hand off.

He's Chucky Lozano but worse: dally on the ball, cut inside, shoot, and blow it 18 miles over the bar out of the stadium and into orbit.

If we need depth then keep him. But if you can make 5-10 million on him sell immediately.

Dale Self
19 Posted 25/06/2023 at 20:21:18
Another thought on that, I'd sell Gray as a strategy to keep Onana, if that is an option; otherwise, I would be trying to keep him.
Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
20 Posted 25/06/2023 at 20:23:40
5 goals in the Premier League in each of the last two seasons, averaging a goal in every 485 minutes (5½ games).

Left out as soon as Dyche arrived – 8 starts in 18 compared to 19 in 20 under Lampard.

Jamie Crowley
21 Posted 25/06/2023 at 20:24:58
Dale -

Excellent point. If a sale of Gray would leverage keeping Onana, holy crap, do it tomorrow.

Onana has skill, is raw, and could be great.

Gray will be a serviceable player for a mid-tier club forever.

If we keep him, fine – we're pretty bare right now. But if we get good money, sell for sure, and if that money equates to keeping Onana? Lightning fast, New York minute, get 'er done stat.

Jamie Crowley
22 Posted 25/06/2023 at 20:36:52
And since this game involved the USMNT, I have a wonderful conspiracy theory for the Yanks out there.

US Soccer wants us to lose this Gold Cup.

Berhalter is terrible. Absolutely awful. When we re-hired him my heart sank. He continually tinkers around, his feud with Reyna holds us back, and his tactics are shite.

Callaghan comes in and absolutely kills it. Novel ideas, he plays Reyna, plays everyone in their natural positions, plays straightforward with everyone knowing their roles, and wins the CONCACAF NL by beating the hated (by me anyhow) Mexicans 3-0. Bare bottom spanking domination game, and then comfortably dispatch the Canadiens, all while missing McKinney and Dest in the final. Callaghan absolutely killed it, and should be our national team coach moving into the next World Cup.

So US Soccer re-hires the idiot because, ya know, nepotism, and then so Callaghan doesn't "look good", what do they do?

Here's the C team for the Gold cup buddy!

I honestly think US Soccer wants Callaghan to fail so he doesn't keep shinning and they can usher in the skinny bald fool and say, "See, Callaghan wasn't that great! Your savior Greg Berhalter is back to lead us to glory!"

US Soccer is a fucking mess. It's really hard to root for my country presently - which I'll do because 'Merica and I adore my country. But fuck me footy here makes it hard sometimes!

Put a solid team out and win the Gold Cup FFS! They're more worried about the sacrificial lamb to slaughter so they can usher in their favorite, as opposed to winning the fucking thing.

I hope Callaghan takes this team and wins the Gold Cup, I really like the guy. Team Callaghan here.

Rob Dolby
23 Posted 25/06/2023 at 20:48:52
Is he one of our better players? Yes.

Does he have a goal in him? Yes.

Year on year, we sell our better players and never replace them.

For a club that survived by the skin of our teeth, we shouldn't be selling players that can do stuff at the sharp end of the pitch without replacing them.

Mike Gaynes
24 Posted 25/06/2023 at 21:15:52
Jamie #22, hate to blow your conspiracy theory, but the Gold Cup roster is ALWAYS the B/C team, made up mostly of MLS players in midseason fitness. Berhalter did exactly the same thing in 2021 and 2019, as did Arena and Klinsmann in the two previous Gold Cups before that. The top veteran players are almost never named for this tournament (except keepers). And we win it half the time anyway.

Also, the rosters are named by the managers, not US Soccer. It's their call alone. And this year's 23 was named by Callaghan almost a week before there was even a hint of Berhalter's rehiring.

I heard your agonized screams 3000 miles away when he was brought back, but... no conspiracy here. And the fact is that GB got his job back because the players pushed for him -- Pulisic, Weah, Zimmerman, Adams, Musah, Dest all publicly supported him returning.

You and the Reyna family will just have to get past that. Sorry.

John Burns
25 Posted 25/06/2023 at 21:19:23
I think Mike (12 and 13) is spot on. I like him, recognise his skills but believe he mainly flatters to deceive in the Premier League. Hope the Saudis come in with £20 million or something even more stupid!
Jamie Crowley
26 Posted 25/06/2023 at 21:22:56
Mike, I know the Gold Cup Squads are watered down.

But there's not a single player from the first team?? There's almost always 3-5 guys from the first team who don't play as much, and they're (rightfully) given the chance to play more in the Gold Cup.

I'll bet my bottom dollar US Soccer had a lot to do with this team selection. It's just too stark between A and what I'd call this C team!

Anywho... conspiracy theories are fun. One thing is for certain – Berhalter is crap. 😜

Dan Nulty
27 Posted 25/06/2023 at 21:23:23
Rob, the issue is he does have just a goal in him. He is the epitome of a current Everton player. He has one good game in every 6 or 7.

He is not going to move us up the table. If we can make a profit and sign better, then let him go.

Matt Stapleton
28 Posted 25/06/2023 at 21:37:51
Jamie @22.

What a useless rant about nothing.

Vamos México!

I just hope your hatred of Mexicans only relates to the football and not the people, as I've never met an American that could lace the proverbial boots of the Mexican people. Hell you're hard pressed to find an American that can spell México.

Robert Tressell
29 Posted 25/06/2023 at 22:04:19
I get the arguments in favour of selling Gray – and I guess we'll see what the squad looks like by the end of the window, that's the main thing. There are pros and cons.

At the moment our squad is badly assembled and, as we know, extremely light in forward positions / cover.

If we sell Gray:

- we need to buy a replacement who is at least as good for (probably) less money

- we're going to have to start buying quantity (maybe 3 attackers) rather than just quality

There's a similar dilemma with Iwobi too, who is also out of contract next summer. He and Gray both make decent contributions and provide valuable cover for a few positions. None of this is easy. It makes improving the squad an exceptionally difficult task.

There's a small chance that someone like Mills, Dobbin or Warrington steps up but really – these players are absolutely miles off the standard of Gray, Iwobi and Davies at the moment – and may never get anywhere like their level.

We could lose Pickford, Onana, Maupay, Simms, Gray, Iwobi, Holgate, Keane along with Mina, Davies and Begovic who have already left. Just to ensure we have injury cover we might need to buy up to about 11 players which is really very far from ideal.

Ernie Baywood
30 Posted 25/06/2023 at 22:50:54
You would imagine we'll sell.

Dyche made it pretty clear he doesn't rate him. So if he stays you can expect him to ride the bench and leave on a free in 12 months.

We can't afford that kind of thing.

Personally I'd play him but that's a different story.

Sam Hoare
31 Posted 25/06/2023 at 23:10:31
Agree with Mike G. If we can sell Gray for £12-15M and then buy someone like Summerville (who's younger and already as good) for £6-8M then that's good business.

I said on another thread that whilst we obviously need to get better at buying we very much need to get better at selling too. Getting decent money for a bench player who can be replaced fairly easily for less money is good business. Especially when the manager doesn't rate the player in question.

Ed Prytherch
32 Posted 26/06/2023 at 00:10:17
Gray is inconsistent. Occasional brilliant interludes between long periods of disappointment. He tends to start the season brightly and then go off the boil. £10M - 15M would be good business.
Martin Faulkner
33 Posted 26/06/2023 at 00:52:26
£15M would be good business given his contract situation.
£25M with Keane or Holgate included, lol! 😆
Si Cooper
34 Posted 26/06/2023 at 01:18:59
Has some rare quality in his locker but it is also too rarely on display.
If he is seriously tempted by the Saudis and we get top money to invest then seems a viable option to me. Just need to hope we get the investment right.
Mike Gaynes
35 Posted 26/06/2023 at 01:32:08
Jamie #26,

This is actually a stronger Gold Cup roster than usual... seven guys who went to the World Cup, and you saw six of them last night -- Ferreira, Long, Morris, Roldan, Yedlin and keeper Turner. Callaghan's got a solid group (although Matt Miasma gives me acid reflux).

And Berhalter is only crap when the game starts. In terms of team-building and pre-game preparation, he's the best in US history by far. His recruiting is amazing. Balogun is the latest in a long line of quality players he has talked into a US jersey.

Yeah, once the ball kicks off, he turns into Bob Bradley, but we're used to that, right?

Mike Gaynes
36 Posted 26/06/2023 at 01:40:47
Robert #29,

Sorry to read your assessments of some of the youngsters. I was impressed with the flashes I saw of Mills in particular, but you've seen far more of the kids than I have.

Kieran Kinsella
37 Posted 26/06/2023 at 01:41:56

You may have to reduce the price if you add those two.

Martin Faulkner
38 Posted 26/06/2023 at 04:15:22
Kieran, yeah lol.

But this is the same people who have been giving golfers over £100M signing fees for joining their LIV club, £10M for Keane is good value for them.

Tony Everan
39 Posted 26/06/2023 at 06:52:12
Fee being bandied about this morning is £17.1m for Gray, entering the last year of his contract that would be very good business.

Mike, I've watched quite a few games these last two u21 seasons, and Stan Mills looks like he has the quality to make the step up and become a Premier League player. He's got goals, vision and intelligence.

I'm not sure whether another season in the U21s would be best for him. I'd like to see him get some seriously competitive game time next season for a Championship or good League One club like Derby. It could really bring him on ready to make first-team starts for us. It will probably depend on whether they see him as physically robust enough for that.

Same goes for Sean McAllister the young Northern Irish lad, who was called up to the first-team bench last season. I've been following him for a couple of years, looked a strong, forward-thinking midfielder, then out injured for a long spell, but since returning from injury has resumed his progress.

Other learned supporters on here who watch more will have more interesting insights.

Some of the very young players particularly Sherif and Samuels-Smith will be very interesting to follow next season. Both of these two are very exciting prospects.

Early days, a lot of hard work, technical and essential physical development to go for all of them.

Alan J Thompson
40 Posted 26/06/2023 at 07:14:48
I was wondering why we had been connected to a couple of wingers given what we have, so this may have been in the pipeline for a while and this is Saudi oil money.

There is also the matter of how Calvert-Lewin is getting on in Germany as we may need cover for Simms which may mean an extra striker or his replacement if he goes to Ipswich.

Presently it looks like at least three keepers on the bench next season, if we have that many, but did I hear somebody shout, "Women and children first"?

Eric Myles
41 Posted 26/06/2023 at 07:55:15
Matt #28, forget about the spelling of México, what about the pronunciation!!!

But don't forget, Mexicans are Americans also, North Americans even!

Danny O’Neill
42 Posted 26/06/2023 at 08:08:56
Right now, I'd be disappointed to lose Gray.

Yes, he's been inconsistent, but apart from Tarkowski last season and possibly Pickford for the last two, who amongst our squad hasn't been?

It looks like McNeil is the manager's preference for the left side of midfield and he came on no end last season. Doucouré is playing further forward, almost as a Number 10 on the counter and scoring goals.

I'd rather not lose Gray but, if those figures being suggested against someone we bought for about £1.5M, they it's good business for a player in the last year of his contract.

But as long as we reinvest. We will need a replacement wide player. And a striker.

On the other debate, and to the US cohort, is Mexico in North America or Central America?

I know they are North from a FIFA perspective, but I've always seen it as Central.

Then again, Texas and California have been independent republics at times. I spent a lot of time in Texas. I view it as the States' version of Scotland!! Texan first.

Sorry for the randomness!!

Eric Myles
43 Posted 26/06/2023 at 08:45:46
Danny #42, the continents are North America and South America. There is no central America.
Lee Courtliff
44 Posted 26/06/2023 at 09:27:28
I like Gray, always have, and for £1.7M, he's been an absolute bargain. But, if we can get something between £15M - £20M for him, then we simply have to take it.

Word is Southampton want £15M for Nathan Tella, who enjoyed a stellar season for Burnley last year. Apparently, Burnley aren't willing to pay that much so he may be an option? He's younger than Gray and scored around 20 goals for Burnley last season.

Ajay Gopal
45 Posted 26/06/2023 at 11:22:53
If Demarai Gray can be sold for the bandied £15-17 million (which sounds ridiculous, honestly), and we can get Leeds's Jack Harrison for about the same price, then that would be an instant upgrade in my eyes.

While I like Gray and can never forget that cross to Calvert-Lewin's head against Palace, he is too much of a 'hit and miss' type of player – I remember him mostly slipping on the sidelines or blasting the ball over into the crowd.

He does score the odd screamer, but that does not justify him getting a regular start. Whereas Harrison does seem like a very hard-working and intelligent player plus regular goals and assists to boot.

A starting XI of:

McNeil Iwobi Harrison
Onana Garner
Mykolenko Branthwaite Tarkowski Patterson

with: Doucoure, Gana, Cannon, +2/3 new forwards (from Gyökeres, Ndiaye, Diallo, Elanga, Gnoto, Summerville and others), on the bench would be a competitive squad I believe.

Marc Hints
46 Posted 26/06/2023 at 11:29:50
Blimey… Holgate also in advanced talks to go to Sheffield on loan.

All these players leaving, hope we have a plan in place or Dyche is looking at the youngsters.

Tony Abrahams
47 Posted 26/06/2023 at 11:59:00
I don't believe you can play out wide for a Sean Dyche team, if you're not prepared to work hard for the team, and do your defensive duties, so on this basis I expect Demari Grey to leave.

Twelve to fifteen million looks okay until you realize how much Everton paid for Maupay, which was definitely money we could ill-afford to waste – wasted, and made me query why we didn't just try and loan a centre-forward last year, instead of waiting until the deadline to sign some of Brighton's deadwood.

There's a lot of work to be done now on beefing up our squad, because it is lacking in numbers and we definitely need more and better offensive players.

Steve Brown
48 Posted 26/06/2023 at 12:08:32
Demarai doesn't suit Dyche's system, unless he plays off the striker.

I quite like him as a player, but he is a good example of a recruitment policy working. Buy younger players who represent value, sell them when they approach 27 and make a profit.

Buying for £1.5m and selling for £15-20m is the model paying dividends.

That being said, if I was Dyche, I would point-blank refuse to approve the sale until his replacement has signed the contract. We saw with the debacle of the January transfer window how this can play out.

Robert Tressell
49 Posted 26/06/2023 at 13:36:30
Mike # 36, its not really my assessment. This is how the England Youth and U21 set up see it - because they don't ever pick Warrington or Mills (and Dobbin hasn't had more than 2 games since he was 16 - and now 20 is not part of the u21 set up).
Dennis Stevens
50 Posted 26/06/2023 at 13:44:46
Interestingly, with the current Engalnd U21s, I see in this tournament Branthwaite hasn't had a look in & Garner's playing right back for Lee Carsley's team.
Peter Gorman
51 Posted 26/06/2023 at 13:49:12
Matt S - Jamie can answer for himself but I am 99.9% sure he 'hates' Mexico in a manner not dissimilar to the average England fan 'hating' the Germans.

Absolutely nothing to clutch pearls over, or to get weird with Americans over.

Jamie Crowley
52 Posted 26/06/2023 at 14:47:32
Matt S -

I hate the Mexican team with passion, not the people. It's a rivalry, nothing more.

The fact I have to clear that up and people look for racism where it doesn't exist is a bit frustrating, but there you have it.

Watch the Nations League USA-Mexico game and see how many Mexican fans throw beers at USA players. It's disgusting. Their chant on goal kicks is annoying and most would argue offensive, they consistently show awful behavior.

As Peter above says, think England - Germany, Celtic - Rangers, Red Sox - Yankees, Bruins - Canadiens, Alabama - Auburn, you get the idea.

TY for making sure I'm not judging entire people by pigmentation, I appreciate you looking out for me.

Paul Burns
53 Posted 26/06/2023 at 15:02:01
Another bog-standard journeyman who fools no-one apart from Everton and too many on here. His stats are awful.

When did we start ignoring performances and statistics in favour of letting players permanently underperform with impunity?

It's time our supporters took the right pill, like in The Matrix, and woke up to hard facts: Everton aren't a charity, a home for mediocre footballers who no-one else wants.

Sam Hoare
54 Posted 26/06/2023 at 15:07:59
Tony @47, as bad as Maupay has been, he's still only 26 and should have a few suitors based on his previous record.

He cost an initial £12M, which is not extortionate, and I would hope we could sell him for between £7-9M. Obviously not a good transfer but financially not too damaging compared to some of our other flops.

Mick Davies
55 Posted 26/06/2023 at 15:15:04
So as soon as a player is linked with another club, some on here can't wait to get rid.

Gray's goals helped us stay up, and if you watched him like I did, you'd see how hard he worked in a defensive role, which obviously detracted from his attacking edge.

Remember, this team are absolute shite, and if we think losing our 3rd top scorer will improve us, then you haven't considered the history of the loonies in charge; we sell the likes of Gordon and Richarlison, expecting instant replacements, but if their track record is anything to go by, Gray will be lost from the squad, and our attacking options down to bare bones.

Even getting in another player from a relegated club wouldn't fill me with optimism. We are a relegation-threatened club, and thinking talented players can go as we don't think they're good enough is laughable.

Dale Self
56 Posted 26/06/2023 at 15:48:35
Mick, I will disagree with the shite comment but overall you point out our original sin, we aren't building value in some players who are clearly capable. Gray could be a first team regular if there was anything regular about Everton's selection and tactics.

Now we are at the crossroads for a forward position where we are short and we have not secured a young player's form or his loyalty. With one year left this looks like another opportunity where we will fail to capture full value. At some point and I think that it is now we have to reload when we can do so without a market slapdown. We have created enough uncertainty for our current roster that the transfer value potential is limited on the upside. We will only find premiums for our crown jewels.

I don't know this market well but there was considerable stalling on transfers since covid Also interest rates up significantly makes the strategy of buying players not needed now for their future value much less desirable. This might be a proper time to take what we can get to refresh the squad. If Dyche can secure one round of staying up we will then be able to afford rotating players to their benefit and ours

Charles Brewer
57 Posted 26/06/2023 at 15:50:15
I like Gray, when he gets the ball and runs at the defence, or when he suddenly accelerates just outside the penalty area, the entire crowd expects a shot and it's just what football crowds love.

Unfortunately, his awareness of his colleagues isn't what it might be and his assessment of when to shoot and when to pass is not the best. But all of that is far far better than a player who either runs, stops, passes backwards, or just passes backwards (which are often the other options adopted by Everton players), or passes backwards because he thinks he'll get endless abuse from the crowd if an attempted cross or shot goes wrong (which in my view explains the past 3 years of poor Tom Davies).

However, I don't think the options under Chairman Bill are between selling Gray for a decent amount and buying a couple of good young prospects with the expectation that at least one will be as good as or better than Gray. The options under Chariman Bill's wise helmsmanship are:

1) Sell Gray and buy some 32-year-old who was relegated with a truly shit club (say Southampton) where he figured mainly as a feature of the subs bench, for twice the amount received for Gray;

2) Sell Gray and buy no-one at all.

Option 2) is the usual Everton choice under Chairman Bill. Does anyone know where the Arteta, Ferguson, Lukaku (€84M), Richarlison (€58M), Stones (€55M), Gordon (€45M), Rooney (€37M), Gueye (€30M), Digne (€30M – sorry about the Toy Town money values, that's Transfermarkt) money went?

So to sign off as usual: Fuck Off, Kenwright!

Jay Harris
58 Posted 26/06/2023 at 16:52:55
I have always liked Demarai Gray, particularly for his goal threat which as we all know was practically non-existent for most of our players.

However, having watched him make his full debut for Jamaica, where you would have expected him to pull out all the stops, he looked halfhearted and out of sorts.

Yes, the headline was he got an assist but that was from taking a free kick where the USA defense fell asleep.

Other than that, he had a particularly poor game and but for that lack of consistency (even over 90 minutes) that I would say sell if we get a decent offer.

Mick Conalty
59 Posted 26/06/2023 at 17:51:27
When Gray is offered £50M a year by the Saudis, you won't see Gray — just the sparks coming off his pumps.
Mike Gaynes
60 Posted 26/06/2023 at 17:52:39
Danny #42 and Eric #43,

Central America is a region, not a continent, but certainly a real, defined geographic area. It consists of the seven little countries squeezed in between Mexico and Colombia -- Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, Nicaragua and Panama. They are all part of the continent of North America.

And most of 'em play some decent football. 4 of the 7 are ranked in the FIFA top 100.

Andrew Keatley
61 Posted 26/06/2023 at 21:11:24
Charles (57) - If you don’t know where that transfer money went then you really haven’t been paying attention; we have spent hundreds of millions of pounds in the last seven years, largely on players that have failed to live up to their huge transfer fees. The Richarlison/Digne/Gordon money has gone some way to plugging the built-up deficit that these transfers has created.

As for Demarai Gray, I wonder what the main motivation for selling him might be; is he an asset we just have to cash in on in order to be able to keep Pickford and/or Onana - or is he genuinely surplus to requirements? He might not be a starter under Dyche but he’s a good option off the bench, and can fill in in a variety of positions.

My speculative guess is that we’ll sell before the end of the week to book the transfer fee into the 2022/23 accounting year and then buy a replacement later in the window. We’re the Premier League equivalent of someone trying to stay afloat using payday loans…

Tony Abrahams
62 Posted 26/06/2023 at 21:34:06
Fair point Sam, but I was also thinking about how long we waited to sign a forward, and ended up with Maupay, with just a few days to go in the transfer market. We couldn’t even get that right, so we had to play another game without a recognized striker, not that Maupay performed like a real striker, when he got the shirt.

That lack of direction was very concerning, and looking back, it was no surprise that we struggled so badly last year because our initial preparations were incredibly poor.

It’s still early days with regards to next season, but this doesn’t mean the clock isn’t ticking once again.

Justin Doone
63 Posted 26/06/2023 at 23:27:59
I can't believe how so many Everton fans comment on under valuing our youth players selling them for a few million (if even that) when other teams get £20M+.

And yet in Gray we have a good, experienced professional player that has many qualities we have been crying out for, for years (an attacker with pace, skill, can dribble and run with the ball that defenders are genuinely scared of) and talk of flogging him on the cheap to a league that has more money than sense.

Bonkers, everything Everton is bonkers!

Like it or not, he is one of our 3 best attacking players, behind Dom and McNeil. It would easily cost us £20M plus to purchase a similar player.

We can't afford to bring in better. I don't trust the recruitment even if we had £50M to piss up the wall.

Every Everton player has been inconsistent which is why we have spent 2 years battling relegation. I get the stats prove he's underperformed… but Wake Up! – which player, manager, coach, scout or board member hasn't?

Jack Harrison is not a forward or winger. He's an energetic left midfielder who is no better than Iwobi. A trier, the occasional 'purple patch' but he also has a terrible injury record. Stay clear!

I only hope we can bring in some cheap / free quality players from the Championship, Scotland or elsewhere and pray they gel together and overperform.

Paul Kossoff
64 Posted 26/06/2023 at 00:02:03
Man City bid £90 million for Declan Rice, and here is us, with our red alert bulb. (Fans of Red Dwarf will understand. 😀)
George Stuart
65 Posted 27/06/2023 at 00:26:31
IMHO, Everton have few players who can actually play:

Pickford, of course
Calvert-Lewin (when he can play)
Garner (maybe)
Coleman (75 years old next year)
and Gray, who we might be selling… ??? For P&S!!!

Meanwhile, Newcastle drop £110 million on one player.

Too pissed off to edit this.

Colin Malone
66 Posted 27/06/2023 at 12:23:57
Good player, but doesn't know when to release the ball, when he should. So, not good enough for the Premier League.
Paul Ferry
67 Posted 27/06/2023 at 13:11:21
Just a thought Jamie, mate (52), but maybe if a few more 'mercians showed up there might not be so much opportunity for Mexicans to behave badly?

Of course, all 'mercians behave absolutely perfectly and would never dream of goading Mexicans in the stadiums or having their own derogatory chants that were also heard on TV.

The turn out by 'mercians in those 'home games' is embarrassing. Mexicans dominate the ground whether they are playing away or 'home'. A minority do act out of order but if 'mercians showed the same commitment and loyalty that is shown by the majority of Mexcian fans and fill say half of the stadium then things might be a tad different.

Kieran Kinsella
68 Posted 27/06/2023 at 13:33:09
It’s a bit of a trek from Mercia to the US
Paul Ferry
69 Posted 27/06/2023 at 13:48:52
That's dead funny Kieran.

You're bang on form (type) this bright and perky fine mid-west morning, Are you still buzzing after a Dr. Who or Star Trek convention yesterday? Maybe, Kieran, I am two people, like you know who, eh .

Jamie Crowley
70 Posted 27/06/2023 at 14:14:05
Ferry -

You're correct. It is a bit embarrassing our turnout.

The Mexicans live to beat the US. Always has been that way and always will be. They fill the stadiums to the brim.

The truly frustrating part is how games always seem to be in the southwest where the majority of the Mexican population lives in the USA, most of whom are loyal to Mexico (which is fine by the way, I'm not making some veiled commentary). When games are scheduled in the great white north, you don't see that as much. Chicago wasn't terrible the other night, Columbus, Seattle, etc. I'd love to see more games in cities like Minneapolis, Portland, Boston, etc.

None of the above excuses the behavior of a wide, wide swath of Mexican fans. When's the last time you read about USA fans acting inappropriately? So my point still stands, although your point is salient.

And I'm not debating you. I'd have more fun sticking my face in a running fan.

Paul Ferry
71 Posted 27/06/2023 at 14:50:39
Cheers Jamie! Good post. Hope you're well. Good point about the south/south-west. Hope you're doing well!
Kieran Kinsella
72 Posted 27/06/2023 at 15:06:31
Paul 69,

Jean Valjean?

Paul Ferry
73 Posted 27/06/2023 at 15:30:16
Yes, a first-rate analogy at 73.

I do indeed sometimes find myself trying to come to terms (and not always successfully, I might add) with a spell in a cell some time ago that was, I admit, deserved and all done strictly according to the rule of law, and the man I have become who is committed to bringing about the best of humanity in everyone and rewarding good acts of humanity.

Some even believe that he is Hugo himself.

Phil Lewis
74 Posted 29/06/2023 at 05:58:39
Gray is a rare breed at Everton. An attack-minded player who can actually dribble a ball at speed, play slick one-twos, also presents perfect pinpoint crosses with quicksilver thinking, regularly scoring long-range spectacular goals. An asset to my mind, worthy of a much improved renewed contract.
The alternatives bandied about as replacements are grossly inferior players by comparison.

I'll be happy for him to stay at the club. His commitment is unquestionable for me. A host of midfield players should by rights be sold before Demarai. Notably Onana. This young man flatters to deceive. Useless in the air for a giant! Passing backwards and sideways at pedestrian pace.

His image for me is of a flat-footed camel, roaming the desert in pursuit of his lost tribe, but never quite finding them. The illusive attractive image of a Superstar of the future as portrayed by the media is yet to be validated on the pitch. I doubt it ever will.

Sell Onana now to the highest bidder. Pickford as well but only if the money accumulated is spent wisely on replacements.

Gary Brown
75 Posted 29/06/2023 at 07:06:41
Phil - first part of your post is spot on. Gray is a huge asset and backing him with a new contract would normally be a much sounder investment than the Leeds boys. His first goal for Jamaica yesterday showed how classy he can finish.

For me it's about system though. Dyche likes old-fashioned wingers who firstly protect the full-back. Let's be honest, that's not Gray. Maybe Gray could be used more in the “Doucouré” role behind striker, but again not sure he offers that ‘high hunting' that worked so well with Doucouré at end of last season.

Personally, I'd love Dyche to look towards a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1. Gray would be a round peg in both of them. Indeed, in a 4-3-3, I think he could play as well as (and in front of) McNeil. I also think that'd suit Mykolenko who could then be left to defend first and foremost.

I can't see Dyche doing it though, so the best hope is a hefty bid from Saudi.

Steve Brown
76 Posted 30/06/2023 at 07:29:38
Good post, Gary, on formation options.

A bid of £15 million makes this a difficult decision as this squad is seriously short of goals and assists. But if I was Dyche, I wouldn't agree to his sale until his replacement is getting changed into his training kit for pre-season.

Alan J Thompson
77 Posted 02/07/2023 at 06:55:22
So has somebody said no or are we just wondering which set of accounts this should be in?
Ian Bennett
78 Posted 02/07/2023 at 08:43:41
The media had us believe we had a fire sale before 30 June, whilst conveniently forgetting about Gordon and Kean transfer fees, in addition to Stones and Nkounkou fees.

Add the reduction in wage commitment for Townsend, Mina, Coady, Davies, Vinagre, Begovic and Kean, the club is certainly being shaped on affordability grounds to keep the Premier League happy.

Maupay, Simms, Gomes, Holgate, and Gray all linked away. And Gbamim has sold his training gear, whilst Alli is going to find the hardest pre-season training on record.

Bring in a striker or two, right winger, a left back and back-up keeper, and we will look better than the bloated, overpaid, and lopsided squads that have been put together by the schizophrenic mismanagement of Moshiri and his band of idiots.

Oliver Molloy
79 Posted 05/07/2023 at 22:20:32
So how much are we going to get for Gray ?
Dave Cook
80 Posted 05/07/2023 at 22:40:43
I heard rumors of Saudis offering 40+ at that price i'd say it's a no brainer.

20+ i'd seriously thing about, specially if he's not a Dyche player specially if we only splashed 1-2 mil on him.

Oliver Molloy
81 Posted 05/07/2023 at 22:45:33
I'd say £10 - 15 million would be good business!
Oliver Molloy
82 Posted 05/07/2023 at 22:51:44
I also wonder , would any of the Saudi clubs be interested in taking Deli Ali for a bargain - I bet his agent is looking hard !
Ben King
83 Posted 05/07/2023 at 23:19:54
Oliver #82

That would be amazing and possible for Dele to go:

He's a name
They'd pay him a shed load (perhaps the last vestige that excites him)
And we'd happily let him go: especially if we could get some money for him (£5M maybe?)

Good lord - chuck in Gomes as a job lot and we'd be solving a fair few problems

Surely Usmanov or Moshiri have some Saudi pals that can make it happen?

Oliver Molloy
85 Posted 06/07/2023 at 09:56:19
It would, wishful thinking on our part, I suspect, Ben!

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