Demarai Gray should make sure his future remains at Birmingham City

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Birmingham City starlet Demarai Gray has quickly established himself as one of the Championship's biggest talents. 

His 22 appearances for Birmingham this term have produced four goals, including a first-half hat-trick against Reading in a 6-1 victory back in December.

Gray influence

His electric pace, silky skills and increased maturity means that Gray has quickly become one of Birmingham's hottest prospects for the future. But this doesn't come without speculation, with Gray being linked with some of the Premier League's biggest names. Tottenham, Liverpool, Newcastle and Crystal Palace have all been linked with a move for Gray, who is valued at around £5 million.

Championship rivals Bournemouth have already seen four bids for the youngster rejected, with Birmingham City boss Gary Rowett keen to hold on to his prized asset.

Rowett, who has revolutionised the Blues since his appointment has warned Gray that a move to a 'big' club may not be the best thing for his development.

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Big money moves for youngsters

And this may be true. A host of players have gone on to make big-money moves that have not paid off for their long-term development, resulting in endless hours being spent in the reserves. 

A prime example is American internation Freddy Adu. His draft to DC United in 2004 made his the MLS' highest earner for that season. He started well, and the his form resulted in a big-money move to Portuguese giants Benfica.

It was there that the decline started. Three coaches in a season led to Adu losing his place in the starting eleven. Loans at Monaco, Belenenses, Aris and Turkish second division side Caykur Rizespor followed before Adu returned to the MLS with Philadelphia Union. 

He failed to perform in the MLS, and went on to have five trials in five different countries. Adu is now a free agent. This is only one of a handful of examples that shows how young promise can be ruined by big-money, high-profile moves. 

The best thing for young Demarai Gray could be to continue his development in front of passionate fans at Birmingham. Here he can continue to learn from young Rowett, who can fully aid his development. 

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