Archie Gray hails Leeds United duo and dismisses Whites 'pressure' with club history view

Teen star Archie Gray has hailed a Leeds United pair upon his impressive ascension to the first team and handled a Whites ‘pressure’ answer like a seasoned pro.
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Gray is still only 17 years old yet the latest cab off the rank from his famous Whites footballing family has started all four of United’s first four games of the new season in league and cup.

The teenager only made his Whites debut in the Championship opener against Cardiff City at the start of the month yet the midfielder has played every minute of every league game since, again impressing in Friday night’s 1-1 draw against West Brom.

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Gray is already one of just five players to have been ever-present in United’s first three league games of the new campaign and the teen has hailed the particular influence of another member of that quintet via the experience of Luke Ayling as guidance.

LOVING IT: Seventeen-year-old Leeds United midfielder Archie Gray, pictured after victory against Shrewsbury Town in the Carabao Cup first round at Elland Road. 
Photo by George Wood/Getty Images.LOVING IT: Seventeen-year-old Leeds United midfielder Archie Gray, pictured after victory against Shrewsbury Town in the Carabao Cup first round at Elland Road. 
Photo by George Wood/Getty Images.
LOVING IT: Seventeen-year-old Leeds United midfielder Archie Gray, pictured after victory against Shrewsbury Town in the Carabao Cup first round at Elland Road. Photo by George Wood/Getty Images.

The young midfielder says Ayling and currently injured captain Liam Cooper have been key in sealing a smooth and extremely impressive transition to the first team. It is a rise that Gray has relished, the England youth international beaming at now being in the first team and embracing his family history as opposed to feeling pressured.

"Obviously it's amazing," said Gray to Sky Sports, asked what it was like to now be in the first team after Friday night’s draw.

"I'm just taking it game by game, just keep working on the training ground and it was a good point. We showed good team spirit to get back into it and I thought we were unlucky not to take all three points."

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Pressed on what it meant following in the footsteps of his dad Andy, grandad Frank and great uncle Eddie, Gray said with a smile: "It's a lot of pressure! No it's not. They help me all the way. Obviously I am privileged to come from a family like that.

"Obviously they have helped me every single step of the way, guiding me what to do and it's just about listening to them, listening to everyone around me and seeing where it can take me."

Gray first made the Whites first team bench back in December 2021 for the Premier League hosting of Arsenal under Marcelo Bielsa at a time when Leeds had a full team of players missing through either injuries or covid.

The young midfielder made five more benches before the season’s conclusion and was then an unused substitute for seven first team games last season during which his progress was temporarily halted by injury.

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Yet Gray featured heavily in this summer’s pre-season friendlies under new Whites boss Daniel Farke, suggesting that his first team chance was near, and the England under-17s international has perhaps been United’s best performer in their first four games of the new campaign.

The impressive start does not end there - Gray also belying his years in Friday night’s post-match interview with Sky as he faced questions alongside Ayling, better known to the Leeds squad as ‘Bill’.

Asked just how valuable it was to have experienced players like Ayling to take advice from, Gray declared: "It's priceless. Especially with Bill in the games, telling me where to be, what to do, having that extra bit of experience behind me, it really helps me a lot, especially in the games and especially on the training pitch, especially with things to do in the game, where to be, what to do, second balls and stuff like that and especially positioning.

"Bill helps me a lot with positioning in the game, telling me where to be. He's always shouting at me! But it's helpful, it's very helpful and I am very lucky to have team mates like Bill, Coops, all of them."