Beren Cross: Bielsa made statement of intent by taking Archie Gray to Spurs
Archie Gray was part of the Leeds United contingent that made the trip to Tottenham on Sunday, but he missed out on the matchday squad.
The 15-year-old would not have likely made his Premier League debut had he been part of the bench, but Leeds Live journalist Beren Cross believes Marcelo Bielsa made a statement by taking the teenage sensation to North London.
The Whites suffered a 2-1 loss, but Gray would have soaked in every part of the experience and will be eager to break into the first-team soon.
Cross wrote on their website: “Even Bielsa can no longer ignore Gray and his promise.
“The youth was not included in the matchday squad at Tottenham, but travelled with the group and had a front-row view of a Premier League weekend through the eyes of a professional footballer.
“That is a major statement from Bielsa. Yes, injuries and absences have created that opening and opportunity in the travelling party, but to take along someone so young is a sign of the potential the head coach feels he is dealing with.”
One for the future
Gray has already featured for Leeds under-23s on a couple of occasions, but no one would have seen Bielsa making the decision to hand him a senior matchday experience firsthand.
He is one of the highly-rated youngsters at Thorp Arch, and with the senior team still battling injuries, fans could see more of him this season.
A first-team debut should not be ruled out if he keeps impressing, and not many will bet against the young attacker doing precisely that.
With staying up the mission for Leeds this term, Bielsa is not likely to hand out opportunities to someone unproven at such a level, but further injuries could force his hands.
Raphinha and Rodrigo were unavailable for selection on Sunday, and with Patrick Bamford already out, Joe Gelhardt was given his Premier League debut.
Bielsa will be hoping his side’s fitness fortunes improve, but if nothing changes going forward, Gray could be making his debut at such a tender age, and it is not likely to faze him.
In other Leeds United news, a major update on Whites January bid to sign attacker has been provided, with pen-to-paper imminent.