Southampton interested in cut-price Premier League winger

Leicester City winger Demarai Gray

Southampton are one of the clubs interested in signing Leicester City's Demarai Gray, according to 90min

With the winger's contract due to expire at the end of the season, the Foxes are ready to offload Gray in January and despite his limited game-time recently, a number of clubs are said to be interested. 

Indeed, Everton, Tottenham, Crystal Palace and Saints are all mentioned as potential suitors, while there is also reported interest from abroad. 

Gray was part of the Leicester side that unexpectedly won the Premier League title in 2015/16, but he's struggled to truly kick on from that point and made only three starts in the top flight last season. 

So far this term, he's yet to feature in the Premier League. 

Clearly then, the 24-year-old is available in January and his contract situation suggests he wouldn't set buying clubs back much either. 

But is he the right signing for Southampton, or should they be looking elsewhere when the transfer window reopens? GIVEMESPORT writers Jack Saville, Christy Malyan and Jonathan Gorrie give their verdicts below... 

Jonathan Gorrie

"It's certainly easy to see why Gray would be an enticing prospect, given the fact he is out of contract in the summer.

"Still, Southampton are well-stocked in wide areas and, with Theo Walcott seeing his own deal run out with Everton when the season ends, he is surely playing his way into a permanent move back to the South Coast.

"The 31-year-old has constantly spoken of how happy he is back with his boyhood charges and Saints already have the likes of Nathan Redmond, Moussa Djenepo, Stuart Armstrong and Nathan Tella to call on.

"Should they qualify for Europe, perhaps a space in the squad could open up but, as far as Gray is concerned, why would he join another team where he's not guaranteed a game?

"South Coast rivals Brighton were touted with a move in the print edition of the Sunday Mirror (page 71) and could offer much more in the way of first-team football.

"Gray needs a consistent run of games more than Southampton need him."

Jack Saville

"Gray needs a move that guarantees him first-team minutes but it's difficult to envisage him as a regular at Southampton. Theo Walcott has wasted no time in etching his name into Ralph Hasenhuttl's regular starting XI since signing from Everton, while Djenepo and Redmond continue to battle for a left-sided berth.

"Gray may represent excellent value given his contract is due to expire in 2021, but his presence would also be bad news for Tella. The 20-year-old is knocking on the door of the first-team having completed 181 minutes of football so far this season, but the addition of further competition in wide positions could hinder his development. The Saints have plenty of options and should not be drawn in by Gray's financial appeal."

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Christy Malyan

"Let's face it, Gray hasn't made the most of his opportunities at Leicester. He's made over 150 appearances for the Foxes, has worked under four different managers and yet evidence of him one day realising his obvious potential have only come in fleeting glimpses. 

"I'm surprised he hasn't been moved on sooner and as far as Southampton go, I'm not convinced he's done anything to justify a move there. Saints are only three points off Leicester as things stand and if Gray's career is to continue in the Premier League, it should be with a club much lower down the table. 

"You can understand the attraction of signing an English player on the cheap, especially one who is just 24 but has a wealth of Premier League experience under his belt. But more important is a player's hunger and desire to improve - how much has Gray really developed as a player in the near five years he's been in the Midlands?

"It would be a big mistake for Southampton to move for Gray when their money could be better spent elsewhere."  

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