Everton stopper Louis Gray became United’s first deadline day signing on Wednesday morning when he agreed a loan deal which keeps him at Brunton Park until the end of the current season.
We spoke to the 22-year-old Welshman about the move shortly after he’d had his first look at his new footballing home.
“It’s all happened quite quickly,” he confirmed. “I found out about two days ago and it’s been a situation where it was happening, and then it wasn’t happening, and then it was suddenly back on. I’m just delighted to be here now.
“I want to get in and hit the ground running. Obviously I’ve got to earn the shirt, but I’m prepared to do my best to achieve that. I know I’m going to have to work hard to stake a claim, but I like hard work and I’m willing to do what’s needed. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
“I was made up when my agent called me to tell me this was on the cards,” he said. “I just wanted it to be done straight away. There are always things to be sorted out, but once we finally got it over the line I was buzzing.
“It’s been a whirlwind, but it’s been good to talk to Dan [Watson] over the last few days and to finally meet him today. I know it’s going to be good to work with him. I’ll be meeting Jack Bonham this evening and I’m sure we’ll be able to bounce off each other and get the best out of each other as we go on from here.”
Having featured for the Toffees in their Checkatrade Trophy games against Mansfield Town and Notts County earlier this season he admitted that it had given him the taste for more of the same.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time at Everton, but I think it’s time to get some proper first team games under my belt,” he told us. “I feel very ready for that. I wanted to go out on loan at the start of the season, but that didn’t work out.
“I’m here now and I just want to kick on and progress my career. Everybody at Everton is really happy about the move. They’ve all said that this is a great club to come to and they’ve fully backed the decision to do this.
“I’ve had experience of men’s first team dressing rooms before, so I know what to expect, and I know it’s what I want and what I need. I’ve got a lot to prove to a lot of people so I’m more than ready to work with Dan so that I can kick on and try to get in the team.
“I don’t think I have much to prove to myself because I know what I can do. It’s time to show that out on the pitch, which is where it matters. This club will be disappointed after missing out on promotion last season, after getting to the play-offs, and that has to be the aim for the second half of the season. I want to be part of that.”
On what we can expect to see, he said: “I’m confident, commanding, a good shot-stopper and I have good distribution. In terms of weaknesses, I don’t think I have any … but I’m sure Dan will tell me differently!”
Being part of a club like Everton has given the young stopper an excellent grounding in the game and he revealed that the move from his home town of Wrexham to Merseyside had come as a bit of a shock to the system at the time.
“It was quite strange when I got the phone call and I just thought to myself – no pressure, let’s go and see what I can do,” he said. “It’s three years down the line now and hopefully I’ll be able to show what I can do in League Two.
“It’s great to work with the quality of players who are there. I’m learning things from all of the first team keepers all the time. Jordan Pickford is excellent and I do enjoy working with him and picking things up from him.
“The new keeper coach [Martyn Margetson] has just come in and he’s been great to deal with over the short time he’s been with us so far.
“When I was younger I always looked up to Peter Schmeichel. He was just a different sort of keeper and different class. In the Premier League now it has to be De Gea, he’s probably the best in the world.
“They’re all people you learn from but, like I say, I’m ready to push on with my own career now.”
Click HERE to watch an interview with Louis Gray on iFollow United now.