'We knew': Rafa Benitez tracked Demarai Gray before Everton job
Rafa Benitez says he’s been tracking Demarai Gray for years, even before joining Everton. The Spaniard is now reaping the rewards.
Demarai Gray is enjoying a wonderful start at Everton under Rafa Benitez. He’s scoring goals, looking dangerous and contributing to the club’s great form.
In fact, we think he’s playing even better than it first looks. The 25-year-old is bringing what Everton need defensively, as well as going forward. You can’t really ask for more from a £1.7m signing.
And it seems that Everton really got Gray as part of a package deal. Benitez has wanted to player for some time and even tracked the winger before joining the Toffees.
Benitez on Demarai Gray
“When I was at Newcastle we played against Leicester and [Gray] did really well,” said Benitez, per the Liverpool Echo. “Since then we were following him and I was in contact with his agent asking about how he was doing.
“I also sent the boy a message when he was in Germany asking how he was getting on and how was he adapting to the style of life in Germany?
“So I had communication and was following him. I told my staff to keep an eye on him because we knew he has the potential.”
Gray honestly looks like one of the signings of the season already. £1.7m signings don’t typically bring much but the Englishman has provided exactly what Everton need right now.
He’s direct, finishing chances and helping to bring the team together as a unit. Coupled with Andros Townsend on the other flank, Everton look dangerous.
Now, the price was a happy coincidence but Benitez deserves a lot of credit for this one, it seems. Whichever club he ended up at was likely to make a move for Gray and Everton profit as a result.
Everyone now reaps those rewards. If the form continues, Gray could go down as comfortably the signing of the season.