Who is Archie Gray? the 16-year-old Leeds United prospect causing a stir among Whites fans

Leeds United midfielder Archie Gray made headlines when he was named among Marcelo Bielsa's substitutes for a Premier League clash against Arsenal in December.
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Gray was younger than every player to ever have featured in the Premier League, including the record holder Liverpool's Harvey Elliott.

He didn't make it off the bench that evening, but the fact that Bielsa had faith that the then 15-year-old could be called upon to face the likes of Granit Xhaka was a strong indicator of the player's promise.

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The youngster has been the subject of excitement among Whites fans, not only because Gray has been granted the Bielsa seal of approval at an extremely tender age, but also for what his family connections spell for his prospects at Leeds United.

Archie is the great nephew of United legend Eddie Gray, who made more than 450 appearances during a golden Elland Road era, and the son of Andy Gray, who played for Leeds and has since taken up coaching roles in the Whites' academy set up. Archie's grandfather, Frank Gray, also played as a defender for Leeds nearly 200 times.

All the signs point toward a bright future for the 16-year-old who, this season, has made significant strides with the Under 23s alongside studying for his GCSEs at a secondary school in Harrogate.

Former Under 23s boss handed Gray his first Under 23s appearance against Leicester City in October 2021 before the teenager made his full debut against Chelsea seven weeks later.

Archie Gray battles for possession against Tranmere Rovers. Pic: Lewis Storey.Archie Gray battles for possession against Tranmere Rovers. Pic: Lewis Storey.
Archie Gray battles for possession against Tranmere Rovers. Pic: Lewis Storey.
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As well as competing in the Premier League 2 - of which he became the season's youngest scorer when he bagged a 35-yard strike against Manchester United in March - Gray has faced up against senior professionals in the Papa John's Trophy. Gray showed skill and footballing sense beyond his years when he set up Amari Miller to score against Tranmere Rovers, and the footage of him embarrassing a Rovers player with a swift turn before assisting Miller with an inch-perfect through-ball created quite a stir when it was shared on social media, with Whites fans eagerly monitoring the prospect's progress.

His talent has been recognised well beyond the walls of Thorp Arch, too, with Gray making his international debut in August. Twice he was handed the armband as England Under 16s claimed four wins at a friendly tournament at Val de Marne in France.

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