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Fulham keen on Everton's Gray

| 11/06/2023 63comments  |  Jump to last

Demarai Gray has emerged as possible target for Fulham.

According to Sky Sports News, the Cottagers are keen on the 26-year-old and coule captalise on the latest period of transition at Everton as Sean Dyche contemplates his first moves in the transfer market as the Blues' boss.

They report that Fulham have inquired about his availability as Marco Silva plots a second season in the top flight following promotion a year ago.

Gray is entering the final year of the contract he signed in the summer of 2021 when he arrived for just £1.7m from Bayer Levekusen but Everton have an option to extend that term by a further 12 months.

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Dyche will, no doubt, have made attacking reinforcements his top priority this summer given Dominic Calvert-Lewin's ongoing injury problems and Neal Maupay's struggles settling in at Goodison Park.

Gray was the team's second-top goalscorer in all competitions this past season with six with his last goal coming from the penalty spot at Nottingham Forest in a 2-2 draw in early March.

Reader Comments (63)

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Paul Kossoff
1 Posted 11/06/2023 at 18:44:58
If we keep off-loading players, then we will be in a longer version of Shit Street than we are already walking down.

The squad is already threadbare and I'm not confident of us bringing in enough quality players to keep us away from the relegation zone again. We just about escaped last season and it looks like we are expected to do better with a weaker team.

Andrew Bentley
2 Posted 11/06/2023 at 18:48:27
If we can get a decent amount for him then get rid. Dyche clearly wasn't a fan and hardly played him.

We need to fund the reinforcements that Dyche wants. Back the manager!

Joe McMahon
3 Posted 11/06/2023 at 18:48:31
Paul, when I stated yesterday expect to see Jack Cork and Ashley Barnes on deadline day, I unfortunately wasn't being sarcastic.
Paul Kossoff
5 Posted 11/06/2023 at 19:15:53
Joe, will we have enough money to bring them in or even be allowed to buy anyone for this coming season? That's what I'm worried about.

Andrew, we can't keep cutting squad members as you know well enough that the idiots running this club will wait until the last day to get anyone in then it's desperation stakes.

Pat Kelly
6 Posted 11/06/2023 at 19:17:49
He's become a fringe player under Dyche. Can't see him doing any better next season. Better if we get someone Dyche wants.
Tony Everan
7 Posted 11/06/2023 at 19:25:13
He blows hot and cold but I like the player, good quality to have in the squad for rotation, back-up or permanent if he hits top form. I'm surprised we are not offering him a contract extension.

Assuming Dyche doesn't want to offer a new contract, are Fulham prepared to pay what we want? Surely that will determine this one. With him entering his final year of contract, it could be good business if we can get decent money for him, rather than let him go on a free, so he can be replaced for the longer term.

What should we demand? £10M - £20M?

Fran Mitchell
8 Posted 11/06/2023 at 19:32:54
Sell him and do our best to buy Barnes off Leicester City.
Ian Bennett
9 Posted 11/06/2023 at 19:33:42
I'd cash in on Gray. He's just too inconsistent to warrant a new deal.

Gomes is coming back from Lille, he's not signing for them.

Sam Hoare
10 Posted 11/06/2023 at 19:55:57
He's not on high wages but, if anyone was prepared to pay over £10M, then I'd take it as we could (or should be able to) find a better younger version for that amount.

I don't think anyone will pay that so expect him to stay and be a squad player which is fine on his wages. He's been decent enough this year and can fill in a few positions.

Raymond Fox
11 Posted 11/06/2023 at 19:56:01
Don't sell Gray, he's not a sick note and is one of very few players that has a goal in him. Remember the Man City game.
Kieran Kinsella
12 Posted 11/06/2023 at 20:03:15

With just a year left, you're probably correct. If he had longer, I'd keep him but offering him a new deal doesn't seem like a good idea.

Joe McMahon
13 Posted 11/06/2023 at 20:05:38
Fran, Barnes going on loan to Barnsley.
Andy Crooks
14 Posted 11/06/2023 at 20:18:13
I really don't believe that Fulham want him. Can you imagine them discussing possible signings and thinking, "Let's get Gray"?

However, he's alright, he's ours and he'll do a job. He is probably the only player we have who might come off the bench and beat a man, maybe provide an assist and, who knows, maybe even score.

I'm with Paul Kossoff, we have to keep someone. So, we need to divide our dead wood:

Dead as a stuffed parrot – Maupay
Dead but still warm – Keane
Dead but revivable – Davies
Not sure – Gray

Kiern Moran
15 Posted 11/06/2023 at 20:57:40
Good player generally, though can cycle between exceptional and average. I am assuming that we have to sell at least one player, snap up any reasonable offer.
Bill Watson
17 Posted 12/06/2023 at 00:30:35
In the current squad anyone scoring 6 goals is a veritable goal machine!
Paul Kernot
18 Posted 12/06/2023 at 01:35:53
Roughly 50/50 seell or keep as I read it above. Unfortunately we won't know til it's too late whether we'll have cash to bring in any decent players. If we were sure, then at 26 and having had a reasonable season, he's the perfect type of player to make $15mil or so on.
Geoff Trenner
19 Posted 12/06/2023 at 05:36:47
Spot on Mike Gaynes: 28. Agree 100%
Danny O’Neill
20 Posted 12/06/2023 at 06:19:23
On Demarai Gray, I'm with Tony Everan and Andy Crooks.

Yes he's hit and miss, hot and cold. But he does offer something and as Paul says, we can't keep offloading players.

Inconsistent, but then aside from Pickford and Tarkowski, maybe Gueye, who was left to do too much on his own, tell me an Everton player that isn't inconsistent right now?

He gives us options and, for those who crave it, pace and directness.

And I like the song we sing when he scores. Demarai Gray Ole.

Tony Everan
21 Posted 12/06/2023 at 06:57:29
When Demarai Gray is played in his more natural wider position, nearly every game he puts it on a plate that an average journeyman Premier League striker would score from.

I have lost count of the amount of “assists” that have got away from Gray. Many games at some point I find myself saying, “Great cross! Where on earth is the striker to bury that?”

With a proper striker signed, Gray as part of the squad could well mean a few more points on the board for us. It's a long hard season, we definitely need some strength in depth offensively, and he must come into the thinking for that.

Danny O’Neill
22 Posted 12/06/2023 at 07:35:29
Tony @32.

Like Iwobi, who always looks up and wants to play forward.

But what do they have to aim for?

Jack Convery
23 Posted 12/06/2023 at 10:08:54
A swap for Robinson would do.
James Fletcher
24 Posted 12/06/2023 at 10:29:47
Gray is one of the only players we have who has pace and can shoot. We need more wide players not fewer, there's no way he should be allowed to go unless we get silly money.

Buy a striker, buy a winger, buy a versatile full back. How the fuck are we the only club that struggles with this shit? We've been looking to buy a decent striker since Lukaku left... that's 6 fucking years ago.

Nick Page
25 Posted 12/06/2023 at 10:40:47
Gray is a good player, and an excellent winger who has some creativity and puts a shift in. Selling him on the cheap with no replacements would be folly. So expect £6M to Fulham.

If we work on the principle that we have two players in every position – excluding centre forward – and everyone is fit what are we missing?

James Marshall
26 Posted 12/06/2023 at 10:58:54
Every team needs a wildcard, someone who can do something a bit different, or conjure something out of nothing - Gray may blow hot & cold but he can make a difference. We have a team full of players who mostly don't fit this mould so I'd want to keep him.

He has pace, a few tricks, can score a goal and beat a man - he's our Mirallas in a lot of ways.

Knowing Everton we'll move him on, fail to replace him and carry on struggling.

If they fuck this summer up on transfers, we're definitely going down next season.

Wout Weghorst anyone?!

Nick Page
27 Posted 12/06/2023 at 11:07:20
James - I'd start throwing statistics-based darts at all and sundry, globally and bring in a bunch of players, quickly and quietly and see what works, whilst moving on some dead wood. Some will work, some won't and we lower the wage bill and increase player values.

It's not difficult, it just requires work. I wouldn't be gambling in bringing in someone like Weghorst unless it was a loan, and wages split. But it would be with at least three or four other strikers from anywhere.

France is full of them but we do no business there at all. So is Portugal and so is Latin America (where the Portuguese and Spanish do their poaching). I'd even look at Japan and Korea.

Eddie Dunn
28 Posted 12/06/2023 at 11:13:23
We need to keep him. He has the ability to beat his man, good pace and pops a worldie in twice a season. He has played both flanks and striker.

The squad is getting thinner but if we offload too many decent players (Mina, Coady already) we will only be left with dross.

James Marshall
29 Posted 12/06/2023 at 11:15:32
Nick, I wouldn't touch Weghorst with a barge pole.

I wasn't for a moment suggesting we should buy him, which means we probably will. Everton love bringing in players who can't score goals. It's our modern-day trademark.

Joe McMahon
30 Posted 12/06/2023 at 11:52:55

It's nothing new to Everton though. We have had very few strikers that have managed over 20 league goals in a season. Even board member Sharp never managed it.

Kevin Molloy
31 Posted 12/06/2023 at 11:56:42
It's all about the price, isn't it?

If they offer £30M, I think he's gone. £15M – no thanks.

James Marshall
32 Posted 12/06/2023 at 12:19:33
Joe - yeah that's true. What I meant was we have very few players who can score goals, let alone strikers who can score goals.
Lee Courtliff
33 Posted 12/06/2023 at 12:38:17
Sharp must have scored 20 League goals in a season in the '80s? Surely.

I like Gray, an absolute steal for £1.7M, and I would only sell for something like £20M+. 'Cos that's what it would take to bring in someone of similar level.

Unless we're going to do a Brighton and unearth talent at knock-down prices... yeah right!

Stu Darlington
34 Posted 12/06/2023 at 12:42:43
It doesn't matter what the price is for outgoings or incomings, the senior management at this club has gone stealth. No word has been heard from them for months.

Apart from not taking up Coady's loan-to-buy deal, what business can Dyche and Thelwell engage in without knowing what amount of money they are looking at?

Rumours abound in the media, names thrown about in dozens, but absolute silence from the owner and the board. This is a gross dereliction of duty in my view, one that the FAB should be all over, demanding answers.

Other clubs are already actively planning and strengthening for next season. Everton? Zilch… nor can they do without any kind of plan or budget in place.

It's a disgrace that this great club is reduced to this. We'll be scratching round at the last minute for the dregs left by other clubs, when we all know what we need: strikers, fullbacks etc etc.

The club and supporters deserve better than this!

Michael Kenrick
35 Posted 12/06/2023 at 12:54:55
Lee @33,

I am quite sure you are right about Sharp in the '80s, while someone back at #30 is either trying to be clever or just telling porkies. So obviously false... is it even worth fact-checking?

Andrew Ellams
36 Posted 12/06/2023 at 13:01:29
Graeme Sharp twice managed 18 league goals in a season but never topped 20.
Mark Ryan
37 Posted 12/06/2023 at 13:09:38
I seem to remember Sharp scoring one or 2 rip snorters but I have no recollection of him averaging more than 9 or 10 a season. Perhaps he did but I certainly have never had him in the Legend category like many seem to have him. As for Gray I'd keep him unless it's silly money and why would that happen
Denis Richardson
38 Posted 12/06/2023 at 13:20:58
From a VfM perspective he's been a great signing. One of the few players we have with pace, willing to take people on as well as have a shot. For all his faults he scored 6 goals last season in a side that struggled badly to hit the net.

To sell or not, imo, as usual comes down to two simple things. What money's being offered and what will it be spent on. He only cost us £1.7m so anything approaching £10m-£15m would be great business. However, can we realistically find a replacement who's better for that price? Also, what flexibility do we have to sign anyone?

I'm not too bothered if players leave as they all do eventually, it's who the replacement is that important. Ultimately Dyche either wants him/or not or the money situation will dictate. Would prefer to swap players at this stage rather than sell outright as at least it guarantees someone new joining. No idea where the money will end up from player sales, at this rate BMD.

Ian Bennett
39 Posted 12/06/2023 at 13:27:37
Ryan Kent has moved from Rangers to Fenerbache on a free. Another linked to the blues.
Ray Robinson
40 Posted 12/06/2023 at 13:42:57
According to some stats I've looked up, Sharp scored 21 league goals in 84/85 and 19 in 85/86.

There were a couple of other seasons when he achieved 15. My memory of Sharp is that he could score some belters but that he wasn't that good a “finisher”.

But how we could do with someone like him now. I thought DCL, pre-injuries, might emulate him as they share many similar qualities but I can't see that happening now.

We can't let Gray go cheaply. Only McNeil can score the type of goals he is capable of.

Kevin Prytherch
41 Posted 12/06/2023 at 13:51:31
If you just take league goals into account, Sharp never scored more than 18.
All competitions, he passed 20 twice.
He topped 15 on 5 occasions in all competitions (81/82, 82/83, 84/85, 85/86, 87/88. (From various different websites)
Jay Harris
42 Posted 12/06/2023 at 14:31:06
And bear in mind that was in one of the greatest Everton sides ever.
Nick Page
43 Posted 12/06/2023 at 14:35:28
Only three strikers we’ve had with 20+ goals were the 3L’s - Latchford, Linekar and Lukaku. 85 and 87 sides spread the goals around a lot.

The RS have the complete and utter monopoly on 20+ goal strikers no one has ever heard of as I’ve said before. Very few years it didn’t all fall into place for Satan’s Crimson Pigeons.

Transfermarkt have all the data.


Joe McMahon
44 Posted 12/06/2023 at 14:40:21
C'mon Micheal give me some credit, I've been a posting on this site for years. I don't make things up, opinions yes but not made up.
Billy Shears
45 Posted 12/06/2023 at 14:44:30
Why sell, he still knows where the goal is... unlike some!
Ray Roche
46 Posted 12/06/2023 at 14:46:02
Ray @40,

I've also visited several websites as well as The Essential History Of Everton book and Sharp scored as you state, 21 and 19 in consecutive seasons.

Danny O’Neill
47 Posted 12/06/2023 at 15:14:24
I loved Sharp the player. It took him a while to settle, but once he did, he weighed in with goals.

Was it the 87 title winning team that only had a leading scorer on 14? Without looking, I think it was Trevor Steven?

The only goal that mattered that season was Pat van den Hauwe's at Carrow Road about 1 minute in. I don't remember the rest of the match. Hand it over.

For me, although maybe not as prolific, for the modern supporter, Sharp had similar attributes some would associate with Harry Kane, although no two players are the same.

He could hit them from range. Was strong in the air and could score insider the box. The obvious one most remember is that derby goal in Lucifer's Den. But for me the less spectacular one in off the post right in front of where I was standing behind the goal at Wembley against Watford sticks in my memory.

I told myself there and then that we had won the cup even though it was the first half and we had to wait for Andy Gray to give their keeper the good news later on to seal it.

Joe McMahon
48 Posted 12/06/2023 at 15:18:30
If that's true Ray. It shows what I know. I remember looking through some old programmes years ago, and even a websearch just now the most I can find is 18.

But yes 1984-86, was his most prolific. Some belters though, and I remember being just 12 stood right behind him for that volley v Spurs in 82.

All that said with events over the past few years, I have no time for him.

Ray Robinson
49 Posted 12/06/2023 at 15:33:04
Just confirmed it in the “official” records and on ToffeeWeb's own stats page, Joe. 21 in 1984-85, 30 overall that season. Probably heresy I know but I never saw him as “deadly” as Latchford, Lineker or even Lukaku, Yakubu and Cottee. So much more to his overall play though!

Shame about his more modern legacy though.

Joe McMahon
50 Posted 12/06/2023 at 15:39:22
Cheers Ray. RE- modern legacy, no comments needed.
Michael Kenrick
51 Posted 12/06/2023 at 17:08:58
Sorry, Joe, how do you get any credit for stating falsehoods? Or are you Donald Trump?

Andrew Elllams @36, curious to know what source you are using and what does it say for Sharp's League Goals in 1984-85?

John McFarlane Snr
52 Posted 12/06/2023 at 17:24:44
Hi Nick [43] & Ray [49],

In 1953-54, when Everton were in the Second Division, John Willie Parker and Dave Hickson scored 31 and 26 League goals respectively.

In the 1960-61, 1961-62 and 1962-63 seasons, Roy Vernon scored 21, 26, and 24 League goals.

In 1964/65. Fred Pickering scored 27 League goals.

In 1969-70, Joe Royle scored 23 League goals.

In 1977-78, Bob Latchford scored 30 League goals.

In 1985-86, Gary Lineker scored 30 League goals.

I have left out the 19 League goals plus the 2 FA Cup goals that Jimmy Harris scored in the 1955-56 season, and the 18 League goals plus 2 FA Cup goals that Roy Vernon scored in the 1963-64 season, and there are one or two others 'who hit the bar' so to speak.

ps: Michael Kenrick is correct to mention Sharp's 21 League goals in the 1984-85 season.

Scott Montgomery
53 Posted 12/06/2023 at 20:15:15
Would love The Yak back now Ray @49, his passport age still probably has him around 32.
Peter Mills
54 Posted 12/06/2023 at 21:48:41
The Everton Results website says that Graeme Sharp scored 21 League goals, 30 altogether in the 84-85 season, and 19 League goals, 24 altogether in the 85-86 season.

I must admit I was surprised, I always thought the “Lineker season” was Sharp's most prolific.

Bill Watson
55 Posted 12/06/2023 at 22:09:22
I've always wondered why Graeme Sharp has been elevated, by some, to legend status. Maybe it's fans who never actually saw him play!

Sharp was a good striker who had the good fortune to play in a great side. He scored some screamers (who will ever forget the one at Anfield?) but he was never a prolific goal scorer in the same league as Latchford, Lineker or Cottee.

Joe McMahon
56 Posted 12/06/2023 at 22:10:52
Michael - what can I say, I held my hand up (post 48)

John @52 Lukaku also scored 25 Premier League goals in his last season with us. If I remember correctly Kane beat him to the golden boot because of the many penalties Spurs get. He even scored 17 Premier League goals in a season for West Brom.

Anyway, that's enough for tonight, hope the news we want won't be too long…

Steve Griffiths
57 Posted 12/06/2023 at 22:20:51
Bill (55)

He may well not have been as prolific as the other 3. However, he was a significantly better footballer than all 3. 2 of those 3, would not have scored the goals they did if he was not alongside them.

He well and truly earned his legendary status by scoring legendary goals, such as the Anfield winner and opening goals in both the 1984 FA Cup Final and the 1985 European Cup-Winners Cup Final.

The other 3 should not be mentioned in the same breath as Sharpy and could only dream of scoring those legendary goals. Some people need to get grip. 😡

Barry Hesketh
58 Posted 12/06/2023 at 22:24:30
I agree, Steve, Sharp was a great partner for many players, Heath, Gray, Lineker, Cottee, Newell just to mention a few.

He wasn't a Latchford or Lukaku but he was possibly the finest centre-forward at Everton since Joe Royle.

Steve Griffiths
59 Posted 12/06/2023 at 22:30:41

For the record, Sharp scored 21 league goals in Everton's title-winning side of 1984-85 and I had the pleasure of witnessing many of them.

He was Everton's top scorer that season and also assisted many of Adrian Heath's early goals and Andy Gray's later in the season. He won 2 League titles, an FA Cup and the European Cup-Winners Cup — how many trophies did Latchford, Lineker and Cottee win for Everton??? 🤷‍♂️

Steve Griffiths
60 Posted 12/06/2023 at 22:59:47
Agreed Barry
Will Mabon
61 Posted 13/06/2023 at 15:59:04
I think Sharp perhaps suffered from having no particular standout feature to his game, though good in the air. Not the bustling power of Latchford, the acceleration and instincts of Lineker, nor the tricky movement and guile of Cottee.

Fast but not rapid, no real dribbling ability or tricks. Yet he was a real handful for defences and very effective without the fanfare. Strong without trying to bully. He knew the game and the role.

Harry Kane is a little this way – always better than he looks.

Peter Mills
62 Posted 13/06/2023 at 22:30:20
Good post, Will. I thought you were in danger of damning Graeme with faint praise, but your final sentence pulled you back.

Graeme Sharp was a superb centre forward in the mid-80s. Once Andy Gray showed him the dark arts, he was magnificent for a few years.

After those few years, Colin Harvey signed Tony Cottee, who doesn’t deserve to be mentioned amongst Everton greats. He scored a lot of goals but was mostly a flat-track bully. I’m sure someone will prove me wrong, but the only crucial goals I remember him scoring were in the famous 4-4 derby. I suspect Graeme Sharp gave up around that time, and took the easy life. He was not keen on supporting Cottee.

Sadly, I believe he has continued to do that over recent years. He was given a very magnanimous offer out of his current embarrassment when an open letter, distinguishing him from the rest of the board, was published. He chose to ignore it.

Justin Doone
63 Posted 14/06/2023 at 16:28:48
We need to keep Gray. Most attacking players are inconsistent especially when playing in a team as poor as Everton have been.

He's a good player and our only forward with pace and skill since Townsend and Gordon departed.

If our form improves and the team keep it tight at the back there's only Gray and McNeil who can deliver goals and create chances. I've excluded the injury prone Dom.

Feel for Townsend, he was a good player and a clever player. But if he can't prove his fitness it's right not to renew his contract.

As for Sharp, he was incredibly good for Everton and certainly proved that as a player. If you have ex-players on the board, then it's hard to criticise given we don't know what responsibility or role he was fulfilling.

But if it's to give a players perspective I can only suggest having a more modern day player as well. Why? It maybe the same game, but different rules and culture.

Ian Bennett
64 Posted 25/06/2023 at 10:59:08
He's being linked with a move to the Saudi's now.

I'd personally sell him for a good fee now with only a year left on his deal, with potentially all cash up front.

Peter Hodgson
65 Posted 27/06/2023 at 16:03:31
There has been plenty of mentions re DCL on this thread as was the case last year too. Talk is all that happened last year. Is anyone going to do anything about it this year? Has he started his work/recouperation yet? It would be nice to get some feedback on how it is going and what sort of timescale is being looked at to see if it is working.

After all, depending on how successful or not it is is very important to him and us as to the decision going forward. Can anyone provide an update please?

I suppose we really want to know if we need 1 or 2 strikers asap. Nothing to do with Gray really but if he goes there is one less crosser of the ball for DCL to get on the end of.

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