By Callum O'Connell

11th Oct, 2023 | 5:40pm

Leeds United news as Archie Gray update emerges on England duty

Yorkshire Evening Post journalist Joe Donnohue has shared his relief as Leeds United gem Archie Gray will avoid playing on the “shocking” pitch at Montenegro with England’s Under-19s.

Donnohue commented on the state of the pitch as another Leeds youngster Charlie Crew featured for Wales’ Under-19 side, with all of the Group L games for the U19 Euros qualifying hosted in Montenegro.

England and Gray find themselves in the same qualifying group but will avoid playing on that pitch, as can be seen on YouTube, with their games taking place elsewhere.

Donnohue wrote on Twitter on 11 October: “Leeds youngster Charlie Crew live now for Wales in U19EURO qualifying vs Austria. Archie Gray’s England are in this group too, which includes Montenegro where all Group L games are hosted. Shocking pitch.

“England will play at a different ground, thankfully.”

Avoiding potential risks

Donnohue’s relief at Gray not having to play on that same pitch comes from the potential that the Leeds gem would pick up an unfortunate injury from the uneven ground, as has happened so often in the past on patchy surfaces.

Any risk that the 17-year-old could sustain a potentially derailing injury will want to be avoided, as such Leeds took steps during the international break to withdraw him from the England squad and ensure he was given some well-deserved rest.

Avoiding heavy loads of fixture congestion, competitive appearances, and especially any unnecessary risk that comes with playing on such a poor surface will be key in ensuring his future development is given the best chance of growing.

Not only would an injury cause possible issues for Gray’s development, but it would also weaken Daniel Farke’s side, such is the impressive nature in which Gray has burst onto the scene and made himself a key player at Elland Road so far this season.

In other Leeds United news, paperwork is set to drop at Companies House to secure a 49ers change.