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​Benitez reveals contacting Demarai Gray before taking Everton job

Everton boss Rafa Benitez was scouting Demarai Gray before he even took the job this summer.

Benitez was a shock choice to take over from Carlo Ancelotti in the off season, due to his history as a Liverpool manager.

However, Everton have started the season brightly, while Gray has been a revelation since coming back to England from Bayer Leverkusen.

"When I was at Newcastle we played against Leicester and he did really well," Benitez explained, per the Liverpool Echo.

"Since then we were following him and I was in contact with his agent asking about how he was doing.

"I also sent the boy a message when he was in Germany asking how he was getting on and how was he adapting to the style of life in Germany?

"So I had communication and was following him.

"I told my staff to keep an eye on him because we knew he has the potential."

Benitez continued: "It's just a question of giving him confidence, having the right team-mates around him and the right environment with the fans, who appreciate what he is doing.

"All of these things together help him to do well.

"It's easier for us to support him because he is continuing to work hard and score goals, but overall he is doing what everyone was expecting - making the difference with his quality."

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