The former Leicester City winger joined the Merseyside club in a £1.7m deal from Bayer Leverkusen in 2021 and was one of the star performers at Goodison Park last season as Frank Lampard’s side narrowly avoided relegation to the Championship.
Martin Keown was full of praise for Gray after an impressive goal against Leeds United, saying: “He puts it through the defender’s legs and spins on to his unfavoured left foot and really that’s inspirational.
“He’s just thought I’ll have a go here and unbelievably it’s squeezed in. Against the run of play I should mention as well – give him some freedom and it shows what he can do!”
This ranked him as the fourth-best performer at the club, and considering that two of those ranked higher than him have now departed (Richarlison and Lucas Digne), it seems likely that the ex-Leicester winger will have a big part to play again this season at Goodison Park.
The 26-year-old has started all six of Everton’s Premier League fixtures thus far, contributing one goal in the draw against Brentford, averaging a solid 6.61 rating from WhoScored for his performances.
Now that Gray is an established top-flight player, his market value has significantly increased since his move from Leverkusen, with the CIES Football Observatory valuing him at €20m (£17.4m).
This represents a 1,024% increase on the £1.7m that Everton paid for him only a year ago, which emphasises that they got him for a bargain fee in what is a refreshing change from some nightmarish business in recent seasons. Cenk Tosun, Davy Klassen and Yannick Bolasie are all prime examples of players who cost more than £20m but achieved very little at Goodison Park.
Although Everton fans will surely be hoping that Gray doesn’t leave any time soon, the Toffees look likely to make a big profit on the English winger should he depart Goodison Park, and the club deserves credit for bringing him in for so little.