May 26, 2024

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Crystal Palace: Selhurst could be the ideal home for Demarai Gray

Can Gray perform in a similar vein as Olise for Palace? Alongside Zaha’s seemingly inevitable exit from Selhurst Park, the news on Michael Olise is another huge blow to Crystal Palace.

The 21-year-old is facing up to three months out after injuring his hamstring in a game for France against Norway in the UEFA U21 European Championship.

The incident is reported to be a grade three tear, the most serious category of hamstring injury, which could mean that the Eagles will be deprived of one of their most productive assets until the end of September.

This leaves Palace in a precarious predicament as Jordan Ayew is the only recognised senior winger under contract. This means that Roy Hodgson will need to accelerate his search for fresh faces and Demarai Gray has emerged as a possible option.

Demarai Gray on switching international allegiance – 'Jamaica has always been on my mind' - The Athletic

What’s the latest on Demarai Gray to Crystal Palace?

According to a report from 90min earlier this week, Everton are ‘ready to listen to offers’ for Gray, who is the subject of interest from several Premier League and Saudi Pro League sides.

The possible English suitors include Palace, as well as West Ham and Brentford, who are all keenly tracking the 27-year-old’s uncertain future on Merseyside.

Is Demarai Gray a good signing for Crystal Palace?

After bursting onto the scene for Birmingham City back in 2013, the career of Gray reflects the age-old narrative of ‘untapped potential.’

 

Demarai Gray on switching international allegiance – 'Jamaica has always been on my mind' - The Athletic

A move to Bayer Leverkusen at the beginning of 2021 was seen as the new dawn for the winger, but siix months later with just 12 appearances to his name, he left Germany and joined Everton.

The 5 foot 11 phenom began his time at Goodison Park in scintillating fashion, notching five goal contributions in his first nine games for the club. This impressive start laid the foundation for a commendable debut season in which Gray reached double figures (11) for goals and assists in 30 starts. That season, he averaged the most dribbles (1.6) in the squad, to underline how was beginning to unlock his brimming potential.

 

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However, it is difficult to consistently shine in a challenging and disjointed Everton setup is difficult, but the £25k-per-week man still ended the season with a degree of respect. He ranked third-highest in the squad for dribbles and key passes per game in the side. His stunning long-range curler against Manchester City was the biggest highlight of the term and proposes the unanswered question of what he could achieve in a more stable and attack-minded environment.

Therefore, the possibility of a move to Selhurst Park is an interesting idea, especially when you assess the meteoric rise of Olise since his arrival in the English capital

The former Reading prodigy has exploded into top-flight prominence thanks to a marvellous year

 

Michael-Olise-in-action-for-Crystal-Palace

The youngster was named as Palace’s Players’ Player of the Season and clinched the club’s Goal of the Season award. He also became the first Palace man to claim 10 or more assists in a league campaign and remarkably was the youngest Premier League player to record three open-play assists in the same match. This meant the France U21 international ranks within the top 7% in Europe’s top five leagues among his positional peers for assists per 90.

Similarly, Gray is somewhat of a creative hub for Everton, creating 38 chances in 36 matches last season and if afforded more freedom and more possession in a more dominant side, he could flourish. It is murky and questionable terrority, but with the Eagles’ notoriously slim budget, it seems low-risk.

Previously labelled as “unbelievable” by Rio Ferdinand, Gray could elevate his career to the long-awaited next level at Palace in a similar way to Olise.

 

 

 

 

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