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Pundit delivers verdict on Marcelo Bielsa’s handling of Leeds United prospect

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Marcelo Bielsa would have no issue with handing 15-year-old Archie Gray a first-team debut for Leeds United.

That’s according to former Aston Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor, who says that age is no longer an issue when it comes to handing senior debuts to players.

Gray is the great-nephew of Leeds legend Eddie, while his grandfather Frank and father Andy also played for the Elland Road club.

According to Phil Hay, the teenager is already impressing in training at Thorp Arch, and has featured for the club at Under 23s level.

With Leeds short on numbers due to injury issues, the 15-year-old also travelled with the Whites’ senior side for Sunday’s 2-1 defeat at Tottenham, although he ultimately missed out on a place on the bench.

Even so, it seems Agbonlahor believes that Bielsa will be willing to give Gray his chance to impress for the first-team even at such an early age, if he feels it is right to do so.

Asked about the prospect of a debut for Gray in the not too distant future, the ex-England international told Football Insider: “Football has changed now, to be honest. Managers will pick players when they are good enough, not on the age. If he’s 15 and he’s good enough then so be it.

There is no age you have to be to make your debut. If he’s good enough to make his debut then he will. Everybody’s different.”

It does seem as though Agbonlahor may have a point here.

We are increasingly seeing more young players being given a chance to make their mark at senior level from an early age, so Gray may be no different.

Indeed, Bielsa himself has been willing to give young players a chance at Leeds in recent years, so things are arguably promising for Gray in that particular respect.

Given the reputation he carries, both from his performances at youth level, and his family name, it would be interesting to see how he fares for the club if given that first-team opportunity.

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UCLan Sports Journalism graduate. Have been working for Leeds All Over since summer 2020, and can only be found writing on Football League World.

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