Talented Leeds United youngster Archie Gray has today signed a contract extension with the West Yorkshire club, extending his current deal to 2028.
Having made his start to life at Leeds through the club’s academy system, the new deal acts as a continuation of the one signed when Gray signed his first professional contract with the Whites last year. Set to expire in 2025, today’s signing of the extension will see the 17-year-old remain a Leeds United player for three more years, with the new terms set to elapse in 2028.
Despite his tender years, Gray has cemented himself as a regular starter in manager Daniel Farke’s starting XI this term after only just having made his debut in the season-opener against Cardiff City at Elland Road in August last year. Since appearing against the Bluebirds, Gray has gone on to make 28 appearances for Leeds across all competitions.
Whilst naturally a midfielder by trade, it is at right-back where Gray has featured for the Whites predominantly this season, excelling in the role to such a degree that he managed to keep natural right-backs Luke Ayling and Djed Spence – both of who have now departed the club – out of the side.
What does Gray offer to Leeds?
Just as skilled on the ball as he is off of it, there is no doubt that Gray is one of the most naturally gifted players on Leeds United’s books at the present time. And, given his young age, there is still massive scope for him to develop his game on all levels.
What Gray also offers Farke is flexibility. Having been deployed in both central midfield and – more commonly – at right-back so far this season, and impressing massively in both areas, there is no denying that the Whites look a much better side with the young Englishman in it.
A massive boost, but still more to be done
Whilst news of Gray’s signing of a contract extension should rightly be received warmly by the Leeds faithful, an idyllic image of the boyhood Leeds United fan living the dream representing his club at a first-team level, it shouldn’t detract from the fact that the Whites still have more work to do in the January transfer window.
The loss of right-backs Spence and Ayling since the opening of the mid-season trading period, as well as the unreliability of left-backs Sam Byram and Junior Firpo due to their respective history of injury, has made strengthening in both full-back areas this month a must.
Gray does provide some depth at right-back, along with fellow academy product Jamie Shackleton, but Leeds have looked decidedly light at the back in terms of personnel in recent times. The decision by the club to hand Gray a four-year extension should be celebrated, but the addition of new defensive players to Farke’s ranks would crank Leeds’ promotion bid into top gear.