Everton have signed former England U21 winger Demarai Gray from German side Bayer Leverkusen on a three-year contract.
The Toffees are believed to have activated a clause in his contract that sees him move to Goodison Park for around £1.7m.
The 25-year-old only moved to Leverkusen from Leicester City on an 18-month deal but returns to England after scoring once in 12 appearances.
Speaking about the move, Gray said:
“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.
“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.
“Collectively with what Marcel and the manager have said to me, everything fits, including the club’s ambitions and goals. Everton are a very big club and the main objective is to be pushing and competing back up there in the table.
“I want to work hard on the training pitch and work my hardest for the club on the pitch.”
Gray becomes Everton’s third signing this week following the arrivals of Andros Townsend and Asmir Begovic, and has joined the rest of the squad on their USA pre-season tour.
Gray began his career at hometown club Birmingham, making 78 appearances and earning England U21 recognition, before joining Leicester in January 2016 at the age of 19.
He was a Foxes regular for the next few seasons but fell out of favour following the arrival of Brendan Rodgers in 2019 and made just two appearances for the club last season before his winter move to Germany.
The deal feels very much like a throw-back to the David Moyes era. A low-cost move for a player with a point to prove, and a reflection of the financial straight jacket Everton currently find themselves in thanks to the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules.
Given the money wasted in recent years this deal is at least low-risk. And if Gray can rediscover the form that made him such a highly-rated youngster then Everton may have themselves a bargain.
However, I can understand why the supporters feel a little underwhelmed given the club’s apparent ambition.