Leicester risk losing rising star to Tottenham

July 7, 2017

Leicester City could face losing winger Demarai Gray to Tottenham Hotspur – unless he is given more game time, according to The Daily Mirror.

The 21-year-old, who played a starring role during England’s run to the Under-21 European Championship semi-finals, has reportedly demanded assurances that he will feature more prominently for the 2015-16 champions.

Gray made just nine starts in the Premier League for the Foxes last season and was used as a substitute 21 times.

He said he found that experience “very tough” and will ask newly appointed boss Craig Shakespeare for a guarantee of more first-team action.

Used sparingly as a starter in the Premier League and Champions League, he did start three of Leicester’s four FA Cup games.

His stock is high after scoring a brace of goals for Aidy Boothroyd’s England Under-21 side and there is reported interest from Tottenham and Liverpool.

Gray moved to Leicester from Birmingham City for a fee of £3.5 million in January 2016 as the Foxes looked to keep their unlikely Premier League challenge afloat.

After his arrival at the King Power Stadium, he made 12 appearances to help Claudio Ranieri’s side secure the title and although he scored his first Leicester goals last season, his lack of game time – coupled with interest from elsewhere – has unsettled the player.

Unlike at Birmingham, there is no release clause in Gray’s contract, meaning that if the club does decide to sell, they will be able to justify commanding a big fee, especially as the midfielder signed a four-and-a-half year contract when joining.

The picture is further clouded by the uncertain future of fellow winger Riyad Mahrez, who says he wants to leave Leicester but is set to return to for pre-season training.

Tottenham are yet to make any summer signings as Mauricio Pochettino considers how to improve a squad that finished second in the Premier League last season.

The Spurs boss likes young players that fit in with his footballing ideals whom he can look to improve.

Tottenham are expected to sign a winger this summer due to the lack of impact Moussa Sissoko and Georges-Kevin N’Koudou made in their first season at the North London club.

Gray could well fit the bill as an English player that can operate on either flank, with an attacking attitude and a good work-rate.

However, if the attacker is struggling to get a game at Leicester, the competition at Tottenham would surely mean he would have to bide his time before becoming a regular feature in a side desperate to win silverware in 2017-18.