Leicester

TT Battle: Gray vs Ritchie

Leicester have made a good start to the season and currently sit eighth in the league while on the other hand, Newcastle are currently languishing in 18th. 

While eighth is a brilliant start to the season for Leicester, Claude Puel’s team have been unlucky not to take points off both Liverpool and Manchester United this season.

Newcastle however, have started the season poorly and have followed on from a transfer market where the club failed to bring in enough players to improve the team.

Looking within those two teams, Matt Ritchie and Demarai Gray are two of the key players for their managers, and with that in mind, let’s compare the two…

Demarai Gray

Joining Leicester from Birmingham in 2016, Gray is regarded as one of the best English prospects in the league at the moment and seems to be beginning to emerge.

At just 22, Gray has already played 104 games for Leicester and 78 for Birmingham before that. In his first season, Gray didn’t see too much time on the pitch for the first-team but since then he’s become a mainstay within the squad, playing 30 games in 2016/17 and 35 last season.

Playing on the left-wing, Gray seems to have made the leap from a constant in the first-team squad to a player who is one of the more essential players in the first XI. Gray has played in all four of Leicester’s league games and was recently called up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad to face Switzerland.

Signed for just £3.7 million, Leicester have got a potential full England international and one that could potentially end up at a top-six club – Leicester have a potential star with them.

TT Grade: A-

Matt Ritchie

Signed from Bournemouth in 2016, Ritchie’s arrival in the north was a surprising one considering how much of an integral part he was to Eddie Howe’s team.

The 29-year-old helped Bournemouth to win promotion from both League One and the Championship and played a key role in their first season in the Premier League. Instantly, the winger come attacking midfielder became an essential player to Rafa Benitez’s promotion campaign. Within the club’s promotion campaign Ritchie scored 12 goals to go with eight assists.

Last year he struggled and although he has played three game this season, Ritchie was linked with a move away during the summer. With that in mind, it would seem that Ritchie’s career in the north-east is beginning to come to an end.

TT Grade: B-

The Verdict

With Gray showing so much talent and potential, this isn’t the hardest battle.

At 22, Gray already has so much experience of first-team football which is absolutely crucial. His pace and ability with the ball should see him eventually become a full England international and potentially at one of the top six clubs.

In terms of Ritchie, he’s been a solid player over the years and contributed massively to Newcastle’s promotion campaign.

Due to the fee Leicester paid for Gray and his huge talent, the former Birmingham City man wins this one.

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