Demarai Gray to stay after Everton reject deadline day bids for him

It looks like Demarai Gray is to remain an Everton player after last minute moves for a transfer to the Saudi league and a French side, fell through on deadline day.

The rumours that Gray would leave Goodison Park had been one of the longstanding sagas of this summer’s transfer window.

After all the media talk, Gray did seem very likely to leave Everton by the time the window closed on Friday night.

There were stories of solid interest from both the Saudi teams and some Premier League clubs and potential fees of around £10 million were mentioned.

And, despite how key the former Leicester City player had been to Sean Dyche late last season and his excellent form for Jamaica earlier in the summer, the Blues boss was apparently happy to let Gray go.

Evertonians will have differing opinions on whether the 27-year-old was worth keeping.

He is a widly inconsistent player at times but there is no doubt he has talent, pace and the ability to beat a man as well as score goals. Last season he did net six times making him the club’s second highest goalscorer.

However, a bid of about 10 million or so would have been deemed decent business given that he only cost of just over £1 million when he joined two years ago. It seems though that none of his potential suitors were prepared to pay that much.

Many individials in the Toffees squad were clearly available for sale this summer, if the price was considered right, and a raft of players both young and old did indeed leave.

Then on deadline day – as predictably Everton made no successful moves themselves – the club let another player who had been a key part of last season’s side go as Alex Iwobi sealed a late move to Fulham.

If Gray had also left Merseyside last Friday, then effectively the Blues would have had no wide attacking players available apart, from loan signing Arnaout Danjuma, as both Dwight McNeil and the other loanee Jack Harrison, were still injured.

With Iwobi’s departure, Gray perhaps take on more importance to Dyche’s team, especially given how threadbare his squad is now.

This was brought home clearly at the weekend as the manager struggled to name a full bench at Sheffield United, and was forced to bring McNeil back earlier than he would have liked just for another body and an option to bring on.

There is still time for a Saudi club to come back with an improved offer so perhaps one will come in before their window shuts on 7th September.

We have to hope Everton’s summer clearout, while certainly helping the club’s finances and saving a considerable amount of money in wages, doesn’t come back to bite the team later in the campaign.