Everton winger Demarai Gray has claimed that Leon Bailey was ‘on his case’ about playing for Jamaica.

The Athletic have confirmed that the Everton star has switched his international allegiance to Jamaica and he has since been named in the 23-man squad for the CONCACAF Gold Cup this month.

Gray previously featured for England Under-21s, but hasn’t starred for the senior team and has now decided to take advantage of his heritage.

The 26-year-old qualifies through his maternal grandparents, who are from Clarendon in south Jamaica.

Gray has revealed that the possibility of representing Jamaica was ‘always on his mind’ and former teammate Leon Bailey was one player who often persuaded him to make the switch.

Mexico v Jamaica - CONCACAF Nations League
Photo by Jaime Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images

Gray said: “I played with Leon (Bailey) at Leverkusen and he was on my case a bit, but it was already in the back of my mind anyway.

“It was interesting to speak to him having played there and hearing what he thinks and getting the manager’s thoughts. It wasn’t as much me being persuaded — it just felt right.”

The attacker could make his international debut for Jamaica as they take on the USA and Trinidad and Tobago over the next couple of weeks.

Demarai Gray second Everton player to change international allegiance

Demarai Gray joins Alex Iwobi in switching his international allegiance from England. While Gray was born in Birmingham, Iwobi was born in Lagos but originally starred for England’s youth teams.

Everton FC v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League
Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images

The midfielder decided to represent Nigeria in 2015 and has earned 63 caps since.

Jamaica also features a number of England-born players such as Ethan Pinnock, Bobby Decordova-Reid and Michail Antonio, while around half of their Gold Cup squad currently plies their trade in the UK.

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