By Daniel Feliciano

31st Jul, 2022 | 3:30pm

Archie Gray considered part of Jesse Marsch's plans at Leeds United this season - Phil Hay

Leeds manager Jesse Marsch has made academy starlet Archie Gray part of his first-team plans this season, according to Phil Hay.

The Whites boss has added plenty of talent to his squad this summer with the signings of Brenden Aaronson, Rasmus Kristensen, Tyler Adams, Marc Roca, Darko Gyabi and Luis Sinisterra.

But despite allowing Charlie Cresswell and Jamie Shackleton to leave the club on loan for more regular football this season, the boss has made a decision on 16-year-old Gray to keep his as part of his plans.

Joe Gelhardt and Sam Greenwood are also set to stay at Elland Road for the 2022/23 season, but 2021 summer signing Lewis Bate is set to leave the club on loan for more regular minutes.

Writing for The Athletic [July 31] Hay said, “The likes of Joe Gelhardt, Sam Greenwood and Archie Gray are all part of Jesse Marsch’s plans so the next player on his way to the EFL on loan is likely to be Lewis Bate.”

Huge

Gray staying at Elland Road isn’t a big shock considering his age and the stage of the development process that he’s in, but it’s certainly surprising to hear that he’s considered as part of the first-team by the manager.

Game time is unlikely to come often this season, with maybe the odd appearance in the cup competitions but Gray is likely to get more from being at Thorp Arch than away battling for minutes elsewhere.

As for Bate, his reputation was big when he arrived but unfortunately the club’s decision to step away from using youth as back up means his game time will be limited this season too.

A loan to the Championship could be ideal for him to get back into a rhythm and stop stagnating, before returning to Leeds next season and looking to break into the side.

Marsch has got big plans for the club’s future clearly and all Leeds fans will praying that Gray can live up to the family name and become a key man for the club one day.

In other Leeds news, the club could get an answer to their striker chase on Sunday