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Transfer window recap: what next for Demarai Gray?

His time in Leicester isn’t over yet

Leicester City v Arsenal - Carabao Cup Third Round Photo by Leila Coker/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Premier League transfer window has come to end and L- hold on, I’m being told I have to say “slammed shut”.

The Premier League transfer window has slammed shut and Leicester City’s squad is set for the next three months of football. The Foxes have done some good business, but the final tally leaves a lot of unanswered questions about the future of Demarai Gray.

The still-young winger has impressed and then disappointed every manager to date. Under Brendan Rodgers last year, that led to a clear design to use Gray solely as an impact substitute.

He is now 24 and it’ll be whether he wants to continue in the role he’s played here or whether he sees himself going out and becoming a starter - the boss was clear he’s not a starter here

He appeared to thrive in that role, as he usually does, but it sounds like former Birmingham City youngster isn’t happy with that at this point in his career.

Gray wants to start games and play more football, which is always a reasonable demand for a professional football player. As a result, he’s refusing to sign any extension to his current contract, which finishes at the end of the season.

It’s pretty clear that that’s never happening here. His path to the first team has always been by impressing off the bench and, whether for tactical or contract reasons, he’s not even making the bench anymore. That was the case before Cengiz Ünder arrived, pushing him to a clear 5th in the pecking order.

So he’s not going to play here but, with the window now shut (unless he wants a loan to the Championship) he’s not going to play elsewhere either. It’s not an ideal situation.

With the Foxes also out of the League Cup, there’s not a lot of space for fringe players to get on the pitch.

Gray’s only chance to make an impact, at least before the next transfer window, may be in the Europa League. We don’t know yet how strong a team they’re planning to put out in the group stage, but we’ll know a lot more on the 22nd.

If Gray can’t get into the game at home to Zorya Luhansk, who aren’t close to being the best team in Ukraine, he might as well train with the development squad at this point. If he can, maybe he can impress just enough that someone will make a (very very low price) move for him in January.