By Daniel Lewis
Michael Ball has insisted that Demarai Gray believes he is better than he is and is not good enough for the rest of the Everton squad to carry.
The Jamaica international hit out at manager Sean Dyche on social media on Sunday [3 September] after the club blocked a move to Al-Ettifaq [Ben Jacobs].
Gray’s future remains unclear ahead of the transfer window closing for Saudi Arabian clubs on Thursday [7 September], but Ball would not be all that upset to see the back of the winger.
Commenting on the situation in his column for the Liverpool Echo [5 September], Ball said: “He’s daft to do it, but I also don’t agree with how we’ve been with him.
“He probably feels he’s better than what he is. He’s not a typical Sean Dyche player but unfortunately, these mavericks are the ones who sort of win or lose you games – they’ve got that something different.
“That’s what Gray brings to us, like at Wolves last season. He came on, beats players, took shots and was eventually key to Yerry Mina’s late goal. He’ll try something different.
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“Unfortunately he hasn’t got the work rate to play in a Dyche team and I don’t think he’s good enough to carry. He hasn’t been consistent or good enough for his teammates to carry – he’s not a James Rodriguez.”
Everton in control
The Gray situation is far from ideal for Dyche or indeed anyone connected to Everton.
While the former Leicester City player may be eager to depart, Everton are in need of attacking cover and can not bring in any replacements.
That is not to say the Toffees would say no to a sizeable bid should it be tabled by Al-Ettifaq, but initial reports suggest that is not the case [Asharq Al-Awsat].
Ultimately, the ball is in Everton’s court as we approach the Saudi deadline.
They will not want to keep an unhappy player at Goodison Park, but nor will they leave themselves weaker in attack just to appease someone who would seemingly rather be elsewhere.
Should the deadline pass without Gray leaving, then it will be a case of Dyche sitting down with the 27-year-old at Finch Farm next week and airing any differences.
Who knows, Gray may yet have a big part to play for Everton this season.
In other Everton news, more information has been given on Alex Iwobi’s move to Fulham last week.
By Daniel Lewis