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Exclusive: Ex-Leicester winger Piper tells Gray how to fulfil potential

Matt Piper has advised Demarai Gray to seek a move away from Leicester in order to develop "week in and week out".

Gray got his start at boyhood club Birmingham City, bursting onto the scene as a teenager under Lee Clark in 2013.

The exciting winger made 41 league appearances in his first full season with the Blues first-team.

By January 2016, Leicester had seen enough to pay £3.7m to sign Gray.

The Englishman made over 30 Premier League appearances in three straight seasons for Leicester.

But Gray has become a peripheral figure under Brendan Rodgers and has yet to appear in the league this season.

According to Piper, Gray was unlucky to join Leicester on the back of the 2015/16 title win, with expectations suddenly raised for the club.

Like Gray, Piper was a young winger at the Foxes with plenty of expectations. And he believes a move away from the club could help Gray realise his potential.

"I don't think he'll get in the team anymore," Piper told Tribalfootball.com. "Demarai Gray is one of those guys, he's probably one of the most talented players in the team as in technical ability and skill, but its his final decision making and final execution.

"Takes on three or four players, gets to the by-line, and fires into the stands. You can put up with this when you're 18, 19 but if you're not going to learn soon that football is final product. I think what's hindered him as well is that he was bought after Leicester's title win.

"He's the sort of guy who needs to do his learning on the football pitch, week in and week out. So for instance if you look at Nathan Redmond, I think Demarai Gray is very similar. You look at Redmond's levels and he's get in the team. But he went to somewhere like Southampton where he was allowed to make mistakes and stay in the team.

"So if he could join a lower level premier league club and be allowed to stay in the side, I think he'll finally become the Demerai Gray we all know he can be, but he's never been given the platform at Leicester just because the club was a bit too advanced for his stage of learning."


Matt Piper's new book, Out of the Darkness,out now on Pitch Publishing, can be purchased by clicking here.

Andrew Maclean
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Andrew Maclean

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