Leeds United have been urged by former Celtic and Swindon Town star Frank McAvennie to take youngster Archie Gray back on loan if a permanent sale goes through this January.
Gray made his competitive debut for the Peacocks under Daniel Farke at the beginning of the season and has already become one of the first names on the German coach’s teamsheet.
At the start of the campaign, Gray was utilised in the middle of the park, but with the arrival of Ilia Gruev, Ethan Ampadu and Glen Kamara in midfield, the youngster made the right-back berth his own, displacing long-term servant and compatriot Luke Ayling.
Gray doesn’t turn 18 until March but has already garnered interest from some of England’s biggest clubs, including 19-time top-flight champions Liverpool, although it could cost clubs upwards of £40 million to secure the versatile teenager’s signature.
It was even reported by journalist Alan Nixon back in September that Leeds United could be forced to sell Gray by the end of the season if the club fails to earn promotion back to the Premier League as parachute payments would reduce to 45% as of next year.
Nevertheless, McAvennie believes it would be wise for Leeds to sell the player for £50 million when the winter window opens and keep him on loan at Elland Road until the end of the season.
“I think what they’ve [Leeds] got to do is sell him [Gray].
“Take the money, but keep him on loan. He’s not going to get into the Liverpool team at the moment.
“It’s the best thing for everyone. It’s a long way to the end of the season and his value may go up,” he continued.
“If he’s not ready for the Premier League, whoever’s wanting him, come and get him now and loan him back.
“That’s what I would try and do because then you get some money for January. It’s a win-win for them. Farke will know what he needs.”
It makes a lot of sense for Leeds United to sell the player to a club like Liverpool and then hold onto him for the rest of the season to allow him to gain experience as the Whites fight for promotion back to the top tier.
However, it’s highly unlikely that Jurgen Klopp’s side would splash such a vast sum of money on a player just to send him back to his original club for the first few months.