Everton winger Demarai Gray has explained why he has made such a great start to life at Goodison Park.
The 25-year-old joined Everton from Bayer Leverkusen for just £1.6m in the summer transfer window. Following his disappointing spell at Leicester, it was unclear whether the Englishman would impress.
Gray has silenced his doubters with some electric performances for Rafa Benitez’s side. He got on the scoresheet in three consecutive Premier League games against Leeds, Brighton and Burnley.
The player also registered an assist in the recent 2-0 victory over Norwich, as well as playing a vital role in Andros Townsend’s goal against Man Utd on Saturday.
In an interview with Everton TV, Gray said: “That (consistency) has been my issue over of the past few years. I have a manager here and a team that believe in me and give me the freedom to express myself.
“I’m enjoying my football again. Everything’s clicked well here. I just want to keep working hard to maintain my level and keep improving.”
Gray joined Leicester in January 2016 for a reported £3.75m. He was tipped to become an England international while at the King Power but never showed his true quality.
He was shipped to the Bundesliga in January after falling down the pecking order with the Foxes.
Everton scouts clearly saw something they liked and decided to give him a swift return to the Premier League.
Benitez also had some doubters when he arrived at Goodison Park. The Spaniard famously won the Champions League with arch rivals Liverpool back in 2005.
Benitez seemed to call Everton a ‘small club’ in 2007, although he has since moved to retract that comment.
He has so far impressed Everton fans as they sit fifth in the Premier League on 14 points.
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Townsend explains Everton celebration
Townsend has explained why he performed Cristiano Ronaldo’s infamous jump after scoring against Man Utd at the weekend.
The celebration seemed to anger Ronaldo as he refused to speak with Townsend at full-time.
The former Crystal Palace star said: “This guy is my idol. I grew up watching Cristiano Ronaldo. I spent hours on the training pitch trying to execute his techniques, maybe should have spent longer on the celebration because it wasn’t great execution.
“It was a bit of respect to Ronaldo and it was an honour to be on the same pitch as him.”
On the goal, he added: “It was amazing. Demarai doing what he does best, using his pace and power. As soon as Doucoure got it I knew if I kept up with him he would put it in my path.
“Thankfully on this occasion I managed to keep my composure and put it in the bottom corner.”
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