Daniel Farke may have solved a Leeds United issue he did not know he had after first-half display v Bristol City
Daniel Farke may have found a new potential right-back in his squad after Archie Gray impressed on the right side of defence as Leeds United headed into half-time drawing 1-1 with Bristol City.
Leeds looked to have plenty of options to play at right back after their summer business saw Djed Spence added to the ranks alongside Luke Ayling as Cody Drameh left on loan. But as Spence was sidelined through injury having yet to start for the Whites, Ayling was made to watch the first half from the bench.
Therefore it was Gray who started on the right flank with Sam Byram featuring on the opposing side. Gray has been a regular feature in Daniel Farke’s side so far this season, playing a part in all 11 league fixtures and making nine starts, but he has typically operated in the middle of a two-man midfield.
But with Glen Kamara and Ilia Gruev joining the ranks at the end of the window, Gray has seen his involvement lessened since the September international break, having only made cameo appearances from the bench in matches against Southampton and Watford.
Ayling had started the Whites’ win over QPR in midweek, while Gray played alongside Ethan Ampadu in holding midfield, but in his alternative role in the first half against Nigel Pearson’s Robins, he didn’t look particularly out of place.
Faced with the task of keeping Sam Bell and Cam Pring quiet in the first half, the 17-year-old was incredibly strong in defence, winning five duels (the most of any player) and making three recoveries in the first half and his solid presence allowed Dan James to venture forward repeatedly in the opening 45 minutes and ultimately break the deadlock [Fotmob].
Gray was the quickest to react in the opening 15 minutes when Rob Dickie lobbed a long ball over the top of the Whites’ defence, racing back quickly to get between Bell and the Leeds’ goal to force the winger’s clearance behind Ilan Meslier’s goal for a corner.
Every time the Robins’ winger looked to get into a bit of space, the Whites’ boy wonder managed to appear from nowhere to steal the ball from under his feet. While many fans wouldn’t have expected to see Gray in this position this season, he has shown he’s a very capable defender.
In other Leeds United news, the Whites were never confident that Tyler Adams would pass a medical this summer