Demarai Gray started his Everton career in thrilling style, scoring three goals in four Premier League appearances directly following a July 2021 transfer from Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen.
That auspicious beginning laid the groundwork for a sound debut campaign when Gray featured in 39 matches – 30 starts – scoring six times and supplying five assists.
The standout moment individually came in a game against Arsenal at Goodison Park in the first week of December, when Gray's howitzer strike deep into stoppage time won the match for an Everton side that trailed with 11 minutes remaining.
Gray felt he ran out of puff for a period in March and April as he adjusted to regular top-flight action.
But the player soon got his second wind, starting five of the eight games when Everton claimed 14 points to climb out of trouble in the Premier League's lower reaches.
Most significantly, Gray came off the bench against Crystal Palace in Everton's final home fixture to drop a precision free-kick on the head of Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who thundered home the finish for a safety-securing victory.
Gray began his Premier League career as part of Leicester City’s 5,000-1 champions in 2015/16.
The English winger joined Claudio Ranieri’s team midway through the campaign, ending prolonged speculation over Gray’s future following his emergence as a rare talent with Birmingham City.
Gray was asked to join Birmingham aged 10 and – after signing a two-year scholarship in 2012 – made his debut as a 17-year-old when coming off the bench in an October 2013 Championship meeting with Millwall.
The player began featuring regularly in 2014/15, with manager Lee Clark and successor Gary Rowett both sold on the speed and trickery of the teenage Englishman.
Gray was involved in 41 Championship matches – starting 28 – and scored six goals.
He crowned the season with a goalscoring debut for England’s Under-20 team at the 2015 Toulon Tournament where his side – with Jordan Pickford in goal – were semi-finalists.
Gray transferred to Leicester shortly after the opening of the January 2016 transfer window, leaving Birmingham after 73 appearances and eight goals.
The forward made a first Champions League appearance in September 2016, playing five times in Leicester’s debut campaign in Europe’s premier club competition.
He featured in 30 Premier League matches in 2016/17 – starting nine – and was increasingly a fixture for England’s Under-21 team.
Gray was consistently involved for Leicester across the following two seasons, starting 40 matches and coming off the bench 23 times in the period spanning 2017/18 and 2018/19.
More lightly run following the appointment of manager Brendan Rodgers at the King Power Stadium in early 2019, Gray left for Germany midway through 2020/21.
He played 169 games in all competition for Leicester, scoring 13 goals and assisting 17.
Gray, who won the last of his 26 England Under-21 caps at the 2019 European Championship, scored 10 minutes after coming off the bench for a Leverkusen debut in a 5-2 victory over Stuttgart.
He played 10 Bundesliga matches in half a season with the 2002 Champions League finalists before completing his Goodison move.
The player, who signed a three-year Everton contract with the option for a fourth year, represented England at every level from Under-18 to Under-21.
Contracted until: June 2024