By Callum O'Connell

8th Oct, 2023 | 11:10am

Leeds United gem Archie Gray takes 'massive' step up with shift of position - Journalist

Journalist Beren Cross has heaped praise on 17-year-old gem Archie Gray after his performance in a new position for Leeds United against Bristol City on 7 October.

Gray was tasked with a new role at right-back by Daniel Farke, and took to the new role like a duck to water, with Cross claiming the temptation to use him in that role on a more long-term basis must be immense.

The Leeds Live journalist was full of praise for Gray, claiming his pace, dynamism, and ability to invert and provide an extra body in midfield make him an ideal option for the right-back role.

Writing for his column in Leeds Live [8 October], Cross shared: “The buzz of Archie Gray’s introduction to senior football only wore off because the 17-year-old was so consistently good in midfield it had become the norm. Everyone had acclimatised to what this teenager was doing on a football pitch and began to take it for granted.

“Gray’s inspired shift to right-back had us all reaching for the thesaurus all over again. Seeing him in a new role and showing such authority there right away was a throwback to the way it felt seeing him at the start of the season.

“Gray did not put a foot wrong in this new role and while Farke has made it clear every opponent has different tactical necessities, the temptation to now keep the teen there is immense.

“Not only is Gray able to invert like a great many modern full-backs and display the technical proficiency needed as an additional midfielder, but he has the pace and dynamism to bomb up and down that flank too.”

Yet another string to his bow

The start to Gray’s Leeds United career has been fantastic. At just 17, he has been one of the most consistent options in Farke’s side since the opening day, with his performances impressing week in and week out.

As Cross says, fans had become acclimatised to what Gray was doing and the praise had started to wear off as his performances became normal for him, but the shift of position and continued consistency in his play, even perhaps excelling more, has brought the praise back once again.

Luke Ayling will now face further competition for his usual role in defence, with Djed Spence initially thought to be his main source of competition, Gray now serves as an even more appealing option after this performance.

This is yet another string to the bow of this 17-year-old gem at Elland Road, and if his development continues to soar in the way it has so far already this season, the sky really is the limit for such a talented footballer.

In other Leeds United news, Farke explained one decision he made v Bristol City.