England U-21 and Leicester City winger was of acute interest to Tottenham among other Premier League clubs in 2017. The revelation comes courtesy former Leicester City manager Craig Shakespeare. At 22 years, Gray has played almost 200 professional goals for Birmingham and Leicester so the interest in him is expected. A player of such young age with his experience is hard to find.
Leicester bought Demarai Gray amidst high expectations
Leicester City became only the sixth club in Premier League history to win the league in 2015-16. The signing of Demarai Gray was done in January 2016 to ensure the club kept themselves atop the league table under Claudio Ranieri. Shakespeare became the caretaker manager of the club after the sacking of Ranieri the following season.
Gray’s potential was what got him to Leicester, who thought they could use an up and coming England star. It has been more than 3 years for the England U-21 man but he has failed to reach the levels expected of him earlier. His potential however was never in doubt at Leicester, or at Spurs. Tottenham’s bid for Demarai Gray was rejected by Shakespeare because the team wanted to keep and nurture the young star.
Demarai Gray has been anonymous since the rejected Tottenham bid
Shakespeare himself would admit that Gray hasn’t performed to the level expected of him at Leicester. Even though he very much has a guaranteed spot in the Starting XI, he has largely underwhelmed. The winger played 34 Premier League games last season, scoring only four times. Those four goals are half of his entire goal collection in his time at Leicester.
So it should not be much of a problem for Spurs to miss out on the Leicester winger. Tottenham have now got bigger fish to fry than Demarai Gray. Maybe one day he’ll realize his full potential. At 22, he certainly has time on his side even he’s not playing under the best manager in terms of player development.