Everton’s transfer business in recent years has been patchy, to say the least, but last summer’s dealings have been surprisingly fruitful.
During the reign of current director of football Marcel Brands, the Toffees have spent huge sums of money with varying degrees of success.
For every Abdoulaye Doucoure there’s been an Alex Iwobi, and supporters of the Merseyside outfit must have been growing tired of the club’s frivolous spending.
However, financial restraints due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic significantly limited Everton’s spending power in the most recent transfer window.
“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,” Gray told evertontv (as relayed by The Athletic).
“Speaking to the manager and Marcel Brands, I had a really good feel for the club, and I feel this is a place where I can continue to develop.
“The manager, with his ambition and what he has won in the past, is important, and we’ll look to push forward and compete with the top clubs. I think a club of this magnitude has all the potential to be right up there.”
Gray’s transfer fee was the only money that Brands forked out during the summer, meaning the Goodison Park outfit’s spending was at its lowest point since the 2010/11 campaign.
But the 25-year-old’s scintillating form has shown that what you invest your money in, rather than how much you cough up, is what really matters – especially in the world of football.
In just seven Premier League outings, Gray has already bagged three goals and provided one assist for Rafa Benitez’s charges, playing a pivotal part in Everton’s rise to fifth position.
Producing his early-season form on a consistent basis is now the task facing the former Leicester City winger, but the signs are promising, and Benitez could have a real gem on his hands.
Only time will tell if Gray turns out to be one of Brands’ best buys, but the Everton chief certainly appears to have struck gold by bringing the versatile attacker back to English shores.