Everton travel to league leaders Arsenal this evening, and Sean Dyche must try a fresh approach upfront by starting ‘electric’ attacker Demarai Gray in the place of £15m summer signing Neal Maupay.
Gray is currently Everton’s leading scorer this season, with five goals in all competitions and three in the Premier League, a meagre tally reflective of the Toffees lack of bite in attack.
Indeed, Everton have scored the fewest goals in the Premier League so far this season, and while Dominic Calvert-Lewin remains unavailable, Dyche must utilise what limited options he has at his disposal.
Starting with Gray upfront in the place of Maupay would offer Everton an outlet on the break, and with the Blues likely to be camped in their own half for much of tonight’s game at the Emirates, a forward with pace would provide Dyche’s side with a counter attacking option he has not yet used.
Gray could utilise pace for Everton against league leaders Arsenal
The recently appointed Everton boss has used Gray sparingly, making just two substitute appearances in Sean Dyche’s four games in charge to date. However, with few striking options available, Gray’s attacking attributes cannot be ignored.
While his pace could stretch the Arsenal defence, his propensity for the spectacular has previously produced goals out of thin air for the Toffees, notably away at Manchester City last December when Gray’s second half rocket earned Everton a 1-1 draw.
Indeed, the 26-year-old, who lifted the Premier League with former club Leicester City in 2016, has experience scoring against Arsenal, with a last-minute screamer stunning the Gunners in December 2021, earning Everton a dramatic 2-1 win at Goodison Park.
Without an outlet, Everton are going to struggle to contain Arsenal for 90 minutes, and Dyche’s preferred options of Neal Maupay and Ellis Simms upfront would offer little on the break. Indeed, with just one goal between them this season, it has to be time for a change in approach and Demarai Gray could be the man to lead Everton’s line.