- Jamaican winger leaves Everton to make Saudi Pro League switch
- Fee reputed to be in the region of £8 million
- Gerrard swoops before Pro League deadline
Demarai Gray, the 27-year-old Jamaican winger, has bid farewell to Everton, opting for a move to the Saudi Pro League side Al-Ettifaq. While the exact transfer fee remains undisclosed, reports suggest a £8 million deal for a four-year contract.
Controversy in lead up to Gray leaving Toffees
Gray’s departure from Everton was not without some controversy. After a potential switch to Fulham fell through, he took to social media, seemingly critical of his manager, Sean Dyche. Gray’s Instagram post read, “The truth is I gave my all to this club on and off the pitch.” He further expressed his readiness to contribute significantly on the field but sensed it wouldn’t materialise.
In response, Dyche emphasised that all transfers require the club’s approval and revealed that Gray had expressed reluctance to train and be part of the team when the initial move failed to materialise. Gray lamented, “it’s so difficult to play for someone who don’t show you respect as a person.”
Gray has not featured for Everton in the current season and had also been linked with a move to Turkish side Besiktas before finalising the switch to Saudi Arabia. The transfer window in Saudi Arabia was set to close shortly after Gray’s move.
Gray the latest Meseyside connection at Gerrard’s Al-Ettifaq
Al-Ettifaq, under the management of former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, has been making significant moves in the transfer market. They’ve secured the signings of notable players like England midfielder Jordan Henderson, former Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, Scotland defender Jack Hendry, and ex-Lyon striker Moussa Dembele.
Bettors to monitor effect of transfer
Gray’s performance in the Saudi Pro League and the impact of these high-profile signings on Al-Ettifaq’s upcoming season will undoubtedly be watched with great interest.
His departure will, in theory, weaken Everton’s squad and the winger will not be able to be replaced until January. Bettors will need to monitor Everton’s form and weigh up whether Gray’s departure will have a detrimental impact. However, the player clearly wanted to leave Goodison Park and many in football feel that once a player wants to go elsewhere it is better for all parties if they get a move. At the time of writing, bet365 have Everton at 6/4 to be relegated.
Saudi Pro League bettors will need to see how Gray settles, though it is expected that he will give a boost to Al-Ettifaq. BetUK have them as fifth favourites to win the Pro League, at the time of writing, with odds of 14/1.