Everton’s £8m deadline day deal shines light on frustrating summer transfer window

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The Everton winger has been linked with a move away for months.

Demarai Gray’s move from Everton to join Al-Ettifaq on deadline day in Saudi Arabia has only further emphasised their own shortcomings in the summer transfer window.

Gray, 27, was linked with moves to Fulham and Crystal Palace over the summer but interest from the Middle East was consistently reported before linking up with Steven Gerrard.

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It was a deal that was months in the making but the frustrating part for fans would be that the winger was only able to depart the club after the deadline in England.

Given the financial restrictions that Sean Dyche and Everton were operating under, they would have been best getting the deal done a lot earlier to give themselves a chance to source a replacement.

The same goes for Alex Iwobi; Everton sold the midfielder to Fulham on deadline day, despite the fact that he had already entered the last year of his deal and that he wasn’t willing to accept a new deal.

They knew all about this but he only made the move at the end of the window - again, not giving them chance to find someone to replicate Iwobi’s influence.

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Between the pair, they made 65 starts in the league last season as well as combining for 15 goals (six goals, nine assists) which shows exactly what Everton allowed to leave.

It leaves them short in the wide positions, with the likes of Dwight McNeil, Arnaut Danjuma and youngster Lewis Dobbin only able to feature off the left, whilse loanee Jack Harrison stands as the option on the right - with James Garner also someone who can cover on the wing.

There isn’t a great amount of quality for Dyche to rely on, and their endless attempts to recruit another winger fell flat after failing to acquire the likes of Wilfried Gnonto and Kamaldeen Sulemana, despite months of negotiations.

Looking ahead, that money could be spent in the January window and it may need to be given the poor start Everton have made to the season.

There’s also the risk of a few injuries in those wide positions which threaten to completely derail their season and, if it does, we’ll all look back to the summer window as a failed opportunity.

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