Demarai Gray has been speaking to Football Daily about his time at Everton so far, and he shared some comments on Rafa Benitez in particular.
What’s the story?
Well, there was plenty of uproar when Everton hired Benitez to replace Carlo Ancelotti over the summer, due to his ties with Liverpool.
However, Gray seems glad to have the Spaniard at Goodison Park, claiming that the £134,615-a-week man has done him good.
The £1.7m forward said: “He loves coaching. Man management, individual instructions and that is very good, and I think that’s done me good. Having a manager that has faith and believes in you obviously helps.”
Benitez certainly has done Gray good, as the former Birmingham man is arguably in the best form of his career.
The 25-year-old has scored three goals and provided two assists in nine Premier League appearances for the Toffees so far this season.
Expectations were low when Gray arrived on Merseyside, after an underwhelming spell at Bayer Leverkusen.
However, he has been a revelation for Everton, alongside Andros Townsend.
Everton must learn from Demarai Gray form
Forget the likes of Alex Iwobi for £34m and Yannick Bolasie for £25m, Gray – and also Townsend – are proving that Marcel Brands doesn’t need to spend millions to find success in the market.
The Dutchman has made a series of shockingly bad signings, but clearly, there is value to be had in signing other club’s unwanted goods.
Brands, along with Benitez, must put their heads together and consider who fits the style of play best, and who would also be a good long-term addition with high resale value.
There should be no more ridiculous signings like Gylfi Sigurdsson for £45m.
It is the 59-year-old’s job to find value in the market for Everton, not to waste Farhad Moshiri’s money on players showing flashes of form here and there.
Hopefully, Gray has shown Everton that even £1.7m signings can be good enough to help the Toffees win games in the Premier League.