By Noel Whelan

26th Jul, 2021 | 8:00pm

Gray tipped to dazzle for Everton next season after reveal - Whelan

Noel Whelan has tipped Demarai Gray to shine next season if Everton manager Rafael Benitez trusts him.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Middlesbrough and Leeds striker said the time has come for the 25-year-old to realise his “huge potential”.

The Toffees signed the winger from Bayer Leverkusen in a £1.7million deal last week.

Gray impressed on debut against Millonarios and scored Everton’s only goal in a 1-1 draw with the Colombian outfit.

Speaking to club media after the match, the ex-Leicester City attacker revealed he feels “confident” heading into the new season having “settled well” with his new team.

Whelan urged Benitez to give Gray a “big role” for the 2021-22 campaign.

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“I think he is going to shine this season, I really do,” he told Football Insider‘s Dylan Childs.

“He is a player that needs to be playing week in, week out. For too long he has been a bit-part player or an impact substitute.

“There is a huge amount of potential there but he did not realise it at Leicester. He has become an unknown.

“I think Everton have done an amazing bit of business by bringing in a player for next to nothing who has his best years ahead of him.

“He needs to feel wanted and play every week. If you give him confidence and belief he will reward you. I think he will shine if he is given a big role by Benitez.”

In other news, Everton feel ‘very harshly treated’ as stadium blow confirmed.