Champion League

Leeds may lose “unbelievable” Archie Gray as big outlet drops Dortmund news

Everytime a Leeds United player is linked with a big club, it’s bound to trigger memories of the summer of 2022. After Leeds had narrowly stayed up, Barcelona swooped in to sign their hero Raphinha, while Manchester City struck a deal for Kalvin Phillips.

The following year, without the two stars, Leeds dropped back down to the Championship, and while they look a strong bet for a play-off place, sitting nine points clear of seventh spot in the Championship table, they won’t want their season to be derailed by a high-profile mid-season exit. But based on a report from a major US broadcaster, a Champions League club may be about to come knocking on the Elland Road door.

Archie Gray’s spectacular Leeds breakthrough

Archie Gray joined Leeds back in 2014, when he was only eight years old, and worked his way up through the ranks before earning his first professional deal at the club earlier this year, one that runs until the summer of 2025 (Leeds official website).



archie-gray-leeds

Even though he’s just 17, he’s established himself as a key player for Daniel Farke this season, starting 19 of his side’s 22 Championship matches and appearing in all but one. While he’s primarily a central midfield player, he’s split his minutes between the middle of the park and right-back (Transfermarkt).

Borussia Dortmund eye Archie Gray

Now, according to ESPN, Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund are “seriously considering” a move for Gray. He’s one of three teenage players on their radar, alongside PSG midfielder Senny Mayulu and Ajax defender Jorrel Hato.

Dortmund currently sit fifth place in the German top-flight, which has just entered its winter break, and have a six-point gap to the top four to make up in the new year. They’ve performed better in Europe, topping a group that also included PSG, AC Milan and Newcastle to set up a round of 16 tie against PSV in February.

Losing Gray would be a big blow to Leeds and their new owners, 49ers Enterprises, because he’s one of the players they would surely look to build around long-term. EFL expert Ali Maxwell says Gray has looked “absolutely unbelievable” in his breakthrough season (Not The Top 20 Pod), while former Leeds striker Jermaine Beckford says “you forget about his age” when you watch him play (Leeds Live).

Archie Gray for Leeds this season

Volume

Leeds rank

Minutes played

1,728

4th

Tackles

45

1st

Dribblers tackled

27

1st

Blocked passes

20

2nd

Indeed, Gray has already earned the complete trust of his manager, ranking third among outfielders in the squad for minutes played (1,728) and leading all teenagers in the second tier for that metric. Despite his youth, he’s certainly not afraid to get stuck in – he tops the Leeds table for tackles (45) and places inside the division’s top ten for dribblers tackled (27). What’s more, his tally of 20 blocked passes (2nd for Leeds) shows how well he’s reading the game already (FBRef).

Sometimes young players would shy away from making a big move at this stage of their career because of concerns around playing time, but Dortmund have already shown him that there’s a clear first-team pathway. 19-year-old winger Jamie Bynoe-Gittens has racked up seven Bundesliga starts this season, while striker Youssoufa Moukoko played 13 games before he got injured earlier this month.

The most obvious yardstick for Gray, of course, is Jude Bellingham, who also left the Championship as a teenage midfielder to join Dortmund, and ended up at Real Madrid within three years. His story is certainly an almighty recruitment tool for Dortmund.

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