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Phil Hay explains key reasoning behind surprise factor in Leeds United player agreement

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Archie Gray has signed his first professional deal with Leeds United.

The club announced yesterday that the 17-year-old has penned a two-and-a-half year deal at Elland Road to the summer of 2025.

Gray turned 17 on Sunday, the club said: “Leeds United are delighted to announce Archie Gray has signed his first professional contract with the club.

“Gray was also selected in a first-team Premier League squad at the age of 15, being named on the bench against Arsenal at Elland Road in December 2021.

“Everyone at Leeds United would like to congratulate Archie on signing his first professional deal and we look forward to his future progress.”

Why is Gray only contracted until 2025 at Leeds?

Phil Hay shed some light on the contract length for Gray. The midfielder could not sign a pro deal until he had turned 17, which happened last weekend.

Hay said: “Now 17-years-old so can take up pro forms – and it was always Leeds’ intention to tie him down at the first opportunity.”

However, Hay continued by explaining why the Whites were not able to offer Gray a deal beyond 2025, he added: “[I] believe the rule is that U18s can only sign for a max of three years. Difference once they turn 18.”

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“This is good” just about sums up tying down Gray to a contract, with other interested parties now unable to give him a pro deal.

The contract length is nothing to worry about, given Gray could easily be offered a better deal in under a year’s time.

The midfielder needs opportunities now, and has unfortunately been unlucky with injury this season. His ceiling is high and potential as a player is enormous. He hasn’t been able to kick on this season the way the club would have liked.

The fact he has almost always played at a higher age group than his peers of the same age tells its own story. Gray is one of the most important young assets at the club and needs to develop further with regular Under-21 game time between now and the end of the season.

Will Gray make his senior Leeds debut this season?





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  • Liam says:

    Congratulations Archie following in the footsteps of Dad and uncle this signing is real proof that this is a family club. Let’s hope we can beat the drop and see you shine at Elland road

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