Leicester City’s remarkable few seasons now seem to have settled back into mediocrity, with the former Premier League champions preparing for a season without Champions League involvement.
The Foxes will likely be battling for a mid-table finish next term and could see the core of their sensational title-winning squad dissected over the next month or so, with the likes of Riyad Mahrez attracting hefty interest from larger sides.
Leicester may be powerless to stop the Algerian ace from moving, as he’s ready for the next step in his career, but boss Craig Shakespeare is determined to retain the services of excelling youngster Demarai Gray- who’s been linked with Liverpool, Everton and Tottenham Hotspur this summer.
Sky Sports quotes the Foxes boss as confirming he’s held talks with Gray and has informed the English youngster he wants him to stay, whilst adding that the club have received no official approach for the former Birmingham City man’s signature.
What’s been said?
Speaking ahead of Leicester’s pre-season campaign, Shakespeare said:
“We’ve had those conversations. I understand the frustration of young players expecting and wanting more time. But on the other hand they have to be respectful of their team-mates and who is in front of them.”
“Hopefully he can get more game time. He’s a player of huge potential who is rated very highly here among the coaching staff and his own players. He’s a young lad and I understand the frustrations but hopefully this season we will see him playing more.”
Can he fill the Mahrez void?
With Riyad Mahrez likely to be on his way out, having been heavily linked with a move across the Premier League to Arsenal, England U21 starlet Demarai Gray may have the perfect avenue into the side that can give him the chance to be a star for the Foxes.
Standing as England’s top-scorer in the U21 European Championships this summer, where the Three Lions lost to eventual winners Germany on penalties, Gray showed his talent and his ability to impress off the bench, having started the tournament as a reserve.
Gray will now be looking to convert those performances onto the domestic stage for Leicester and will seek a breakthrough year with the Foxes, having been a bit-part player during the second-half of Leicester’s Premier League title winning campaign and the entirety of last season.