By Noel Whelan

29th Sep, 2021 | 1:00pm

Everton have signed 'bargain of the season' as Whelan delivers verdict on Gray recall

Noel Whelan has tipped Everton ace Demarai Gray for a future England call-up if he can maintain his early-season form.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claimed Gray, 25, has been the “bargain of the season”.

The former Leicester winger has four goal involvements in six Premier League games for Everton and has had a hand in 33% of the Toffees’ league goals this season (Transfermarkt).

The ex-Birmingham City joined for a reported £1.7million fee from Bayer Leverkusen this summer.

Tomorrow (September 30th), Gareth Southgate will name his squad to take on Andorra and Hungary in World Cup qualifiers next month.

Whelan doesn’t anticipate Gray to be a part of this squad but said he would be “hard to ignore” if he can keep up his impressive form.

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“I can see it happening [an England call-up], but not right now,” he told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury.

“I think he needs a bit more longevity in his game, more consistency in the Premier League.

“We’ve not seen him for a number of years and when you look at the array of quality England have in his position, it would be difficult to see how he can come in after two months of good performances.

“However, there’s no doubt that he’s going in the right direction, and he’s been my bargain of the season.

“If he keeps up this kind of form, he’ll be very hard to ignore for Gareth Southgate.”

Gray made 28 appearances for England’s U21 side and received his first senior call-up in September 2018 but failed to feature.

The winger made just 14 appearances in all competitions last season, scoring once.

In other news, pundit tips Everton to seal multiple January signings.