Rafa Benitez only plans to afford Demarai Gray a rest at the end of the season after proving he can make a difference after his transfer to Everton this summer, via the Liverpool Echo.
Gray was the only player the Blues paid a fee for in the last market when joining for £1.6m. Returning to the Premier League six-months after joining Bayer Leverkusen from Leicester.
The Goodison Park natives were limited on funds for Benitez’s first window in charge as they dealt with FFP concerns. But Gray has been a superb addition with his early efforts.
Benitez has trusted Gray with starting all 10 of Everton’s Premier League games so far this season. The 25-year-old has returned that faith with three goals and two assists – making the former England youth international the Toffees’ joint-top scorer.
Only fellow summer signing Andros Townsend and last season’s 16 goal hero Dominic Calvert-Lewin have also scored three so far. Additionally, only Abdoulaye Doucoure (4) has provided more assists than Gray, Townsend and Michael Keane have managed for Everton.
Benitez admires Gray’s game-changing ability and qualities the Spaniard wants to see in his players at Everton. So, has no intention of easing the Birmingham-born dynamo’s work yet.
“He can make a difference. He’s a young player with desire, commitment and quality. We need that.”