By James Murray

16th Oct, 2023 | 7:10am

Leeds United: Paul Robinson tips Archie Gray as 'dark horse' to make England European Championship squad

Paul Robinson has tipped Leeds United midfielder Archie Gray as a “dark horse” to make the England squad for the European Championships next summer.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live (via LeedsLive, 15 October), the pundit said the 17-year-old is a “real outsider” to be called up for the national team after watching him for the Whites this season.

He added that the England U-19 international is a regular under Daniel Farke and that he expects him to make “great strides” over the next 12 to 18 months at Elland Road.

“My dark horse for the Euros squad, a real outsider from me, somebody I’ve watched regularly at Leeds United, Archie Gray,” said Robinson.

“Hasn’t played in the England under-21s yet, represented England at every level up to under-19s. He’s a regular for Daniel Farke in the Leeds side this year, and I expect him to make great strides in the next 12/18 months.”

Too soon

It feels like this is a tournament that will surely just come around a little bit too soon for Gray after he has broken into the Leeds first team this season.

He has every chance of having a promising international career ahead of him, but Gareth Southgate would likely be cautious about throwing a 17-year-old into a major tournament on the back of one season at club level.

There are a lot of others also vying for a spot in the England midfield, with James Ward-Prowse being overlooked for the latest squad despite his early-season form for West Ham, so it’s unlikely the teenager would currently be picked ahead of the likes of him.

Gray will certainly be on Southgate’s radar, though, after his strong start to the campaign and the maturity he has shown that has seen him step up to the England U-19s side.

It’s likely he will first have to earn a call-up to the U-21s team before making the senior side, but if he continues on the same trajectory, that recognition may not be too far away.

In other Leeds United news, a big-money Chelsea signing seemed to slam a Whites star after what he did on international duty.