Demarai Gray has joined Everton from Bayer Leverkusen for around £1.6 million, bringing an end to the short duration of time that he spent in the Bundesliga.
Gray arrived in Florida on Thursday to undergo a pre-season medical with Everton, where its pre-season camp is being held. A three-year contract with the Toffees has been agreed upon by the 25-year old winger with an option for the club to extend it by another year. Andros Townsend and Asmir Begovic will also join Gray in Merseyside, where new manager Rafael Benitez and Director of Football Marcel Brands have already been at work reorganizing the squad for the upcoming season.
Gray told evertontv that new Toffees boss Rafa Benitez was a key reason for his decision to move to Goodison Park, saying: “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.
“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.”
Despite starting his career with his hometown club Birmingham, Gray made a £3.5m switch to Leicester in January 2016 and was a Premier League winner with the Foxes when he was 19 years old. After five years with Leicester, Gray joined Leverkusen in January and scored one goal and provided two assists in his 12 appearances for the Bundesliga club. Previously an England U21 international, he will wear the No 11 shirt at Everton.
Grey will now fly to Orlando to train with the Everton squad ahead of the pre-season match against Colombian club Millonarios on Sunday. Since replacing Carlo Ancelotti, Benitez has signed Asmir Begovic and Andros Townsend, with Gray being his third signing.