On Tuesday the news broke that Demarai Gray has signed a new 3 year contract with his hometown club after a long period of speculation and rejected bids from Palace and then Bournemouth.
After a breakthrough season last year, Gray has established himself in the 11 and as one of the championships most dangerous players. His pace and in particular his ability to beat a man one and one, being able to go inside or outside the man is what can and will cause defenders problems. He is also capable of playing on either flank or in a central role behind the striker with the latter being an option to be seriously considered when opposing teams double up on him which is a challenge Gray will have to embrace as he is know a ‘known quantity’ The next level for Gray is to do this on a consistent basis and regularly chip in with goals and assists and make telling contributions that can aid the team.
The 19 year old will benefit from having a settled future, at least for the time being, and working under the calming influence of Gary Rowett who has shown heaps of faith in the winger. Gray also had an extended break over the summer after England U20 duty and a demanding season with over 40 games, making him a relatively experienced player for his age.
Gray will have to contend with the extra pressure of being Blues’ talisman, the Premier League interest, and pushing for national honours with an U21 call up to Gareth Southgate’s not too far away.