It’s been a pretty swell few weeks in Demarai Gray’s burgeoning career as the young winger followed a first Premier League goal with a maiden strike for the England U21s to help seal a place at next summer’s European Championships.
The nifty 20-year-old could hardly have set his Foxes tally rolling in more spectacular fashion either, as the half-time substitute in the recent mauling by Manchester United, momentarily stunned Old Trafford into silence with an absolute peach.
Building on that Goal of the Month contender, Gray ghosted in to a scoring position to put the Young Lions on course to victory early in Kazakhstan, showing intelligence in his movement rather than the audacity and technique required to net his United rocket.
Although competition is fierce for places among Claudio Ranieri’s Premier League title-winning squad, it’s a timely reminder to the Italian tactician that Gray is ready to make an impact when called upon.
It’s understandable that a player of his tender years be fed into the team slowly, especially in the unique circumstances at the King Power Stadium where virtually the same XI were largely responsible for making the unthinkable possible in 2015/16.
Budging Marc Albrighton out of the left-hand side of midfield would be a tall order for many a player, for instance, given the contribution the former Villan has made to the club.
Yet, with things not going quite as swimmingly this time around as complacency understandably gets its claws in to the Foxes’ heroic squad, Ranieri has seemed more predisposed to freshening his line-ups, certainly from the bench if not the first whistle.
If Gray keeps producing magical moments then there’s every chance the youngster will be soon be improving on a tally of two Premier League starts from his 16 top-flight appearances to date.
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