'You'll be talking about this guy non-stop' - Leeds United director of football Victor Orta on precocious Whites teen and his Sergio Agüero feeling
Leeds United director of football Victor Orta gets the same feeling watching academy player Archie Gray as he did when he saw Sergio Agüero as a youngster.
The 15-year-old is the son of former Whites forward Andy, the grandson of ex defender Frank and the great nephew of Elland Road great Eddie.
Leeds have kept any fuss and hype around the youngster to a minimum, but his appearance for an Under 21 side in the EFL Trophy at Tranmere and a fine assist for Amari Miller showed a glimpse of his talent. Supporters also caught sight of him in an Under 23s Premier League 2 game against Leicester City and in Premier League Cup ties at home to Wigan Athletic and away to Sunderland.
Orta believes it won't be long before everyone is talking about the latest Gray to wear the white of Leeds United.
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Asked which player in the Premier League he considered undervalued, the Spaniard elected to talk about Gray.
"I want to be the first person on La Media Inglesa since in five years-time you’ll be talking about this guy non-stop and I want to be the first and because I already had the answer prepared yesterday, I want to say the name of Archie Gray, our youth team player.
"He is 16, [great nephew] of Eddie Gray, son of Andy Gray and I want to say the name of Archie Gray on La Media Inglesa. You can find a nice moment of what he did the other day in the Papa John’s Trophy on Wyscout, he gave a lovely pass to Amari Miller in our 4-1 defeat to Tranmere Rovers. Hopefully nobody takes him away from us for God’s sake. Nobody is going to do that, he has [Leeds] in his blood. So that’s why I want to say the name of Archie Gray on here because every time he takes a step forward you’ll see him."
According to Orta, Gray's ability marks him out as a rare find and makes him think of players like Manchester City legend Sergio Agüero and Atlético Madrid star Ángel Correa, whose precocious talent as youngsters left a lasting impression.
"He’s one of those players you see every, I don’t know. I remember Kun Agüero and saying “what is this?” It’s something that happens once in a long time, so I wanted to mention Archie Gray," said Orta.
"[It] has actually happened only a few times, in the South America Under 20s tournament Kun scored 10 or 12 goals or something like that, you could see he was different. I saw Ángel Correa in under 15s in San Lorenzo and it impacted me. I saw Douglas Costa when he was 15 in a Copinha São Paolo and I said “who’s this guy?” It’s happened only a few times. But yeah, Archie gives me the same feeling. Archie the other day against Tranmere Rovers gave me that feeling."
Gray is one of a number of young talents catching the eye at Thorp Arch. Defender Kris Moore, 17, has been solid, while attacking midfielder Sean McGurk, 18, signed from Wigan in the summer, has showcased his dribbling ability while impressing in the EFL Trophy. Crysencio Summerville, 19, has also forced his way past Helder Costa into Marcelo Bielsa's four wing options for the first team squad.