On the surface, it may seem counter-intuitive for three of the Premier League’s biggest clubs to target a player who has made just nine top flight starts this season for a team lower than them in the Premier League table, especially when he’s valued at £22million – such is the case with Everton, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur’s reported interest in Leicester City winger Demarai Gray.
But the former Birmingham City is one of the youngest players to feature in the Premier League regularly this term at the age of 20 and although both Claudio Ranieri and Craig Shakespeare have seen fit to protect him from his own inexperience as much as possible, Gray has impressed when sparingly called upon, producing one goal and three assists.
Perhaps his performances this season only truly stand out, however, when they’re judged on per-90-minute metrics, considering most of his outings this season have come from the bench in a recurring cameo role, whilst he’s lasted until the final whistle just twice when starting. He’s actually clocked up just 980 minutes from his 25 Premier League appearances – which equates to just shy of eleven full games.
Indeed, had Gray actually started and finished all of said eleven games, his per-match dribble rate would be the fifth-best in the Premier League, whilst his shot rate would be the same as Dele Alli’s and he’d create the same amount of chances per-match as Manchester City’s lavish signing Raheem Sterling. When put into that context, £22million seems like a bit of a steal for a young, English player with a bit of top flight experience already under his belt.