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Sunday 23 October 2016

Gary Rowett: Demarai Gray can make big impact for Leicester

Published 06/01/2016 | 15:16

Demarai Gray could make his Leicester debut at Tottenham in the FA Cup
Demarai Gray could make his Leicester debut at Tottenham in the FA Cup

Birmingham boss Gary Rowett has backed Demarai Gray to make an impact in Leicester's shock title charge.

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The winger joined the Foxes from Blues on Monday after they activated his £3.75million release clause and he could make his debut in Sunday's FA Cup trip to Tottenham.

Leicester are second in the Barclays Premier League and Rowett believes Gray, who will battle Riyad Mahrez and Marc Albrighton for a place, could prove a star for Claudio Ranieri.

"He has certainly got the quality," said Rowett, who played for the Foxes between 2000 and 2002.

"I think he is going to have to add things to his game, which you would hope Leicester can do, and the experience of someone like Claudio Ranieri would be able to add to his game.

"It's going to be a tough challenge. He is an eye-catching player. If he starts games or if he comes off the bench for 20 minutes I am sure he can have a very big impact for them.

"It is a very different challenge. A lot of game intelligence is required to work out different ways to beat players, different ways to gain a little bit of space. You have to work a little bit harder."

Gray, 19, came through the ranks at St Andrew's and made 78 appearances, scoring eight goals, and Rowett is reportedly eyeing Sunderland's Will Buckley as a replacement.

He also confirmed he wants to bring James Vaughan back to St Andrew's after the striker's loan spell from Huddersfield ended.

"Vaughany is one we have said quite openly we would like to try and do something with," he added. "He is Huddersfield's player so whatever Huddersfield want to do that's their prerogative."

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