Birmingham City manager Gary Rowett has insisted that the club will do all they can to hold onto Demarai Gray.
The 18-year-old winger has been in impressive form in the Championship so far this season, and has been linked with Premier League duo Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.
In 16 league matches, Gray has scored four goals and created 14 chances, while having a pass accuracy of 78% and a shot accuracy of 56%, and winning 51% of the duels.
There are reports that Liverpool and Tottenham could make offers for the teenager in the January transfer window, but Rowett is confident of keeping hold of the talented youngster.
“He’s as good as any young player I’ve seen at this age,” The Daily Mail quotes the 40-year-old as saying. “At 18 years old, the ability to score a hat-trick at Championship level doesn’t happen very often. He’s an exciting player. He gets the fans off the edge of their seats.
“I’m realistic, I would expect some interest in January and I would expect that interest to be very strong from top clubs, because he is a top player. But also you have to look at that he’s playing regular football in the Championship.
“Sometimes for a young player it’s just as important to get 100 starts than go to a bigger club and sit on the bench or play in Under 21 squads.
“What he’s shown is we shouldn’t be looking to sell him for a low fee just to fit his ambitions. The club has a real potential star player on its hands.”
While a move to Tottenham or Liverpool will be tempting for anyone playing in the Championship, perhaps it would be best for Gray if he listens to Rowett and remains at Birmingham until the end of the season at least.
The teenager is only just coming to the fore and is playing regular football. A move in the middle of the season is going to impede his development, especially as he is not going to get much playing time in any of the Premier League teams reportedly interested in him.