July 11, 2017 / 7:47 AM / a year ago

Gray could get more playing time at Leicester - Shakespeare

(Reuters) - Leicester City’s rising winger Demarai Gray is likely to feature more regularly for the first team but he must respect senior players at the Premier League club, manager Craig Shakespeare has said.

Football Soccer - Leicester City Training - Vicente Calderon Stadium, Madrid, Spain - 11/4/17 Leicester's Demarai Gray during training Action Images via Reuters / Carl Recine Livepic

The 21-year-old has repeatedly expressed his frustration over lack of playing time, after starting just nine of his 21 league appearances and one Champions League match at Leicester last campaign.

England’s Gray rose to prominence at the European under-21 Championships in June, where he scored twice in four matches as Aidy Boothroyd’s side reached the semi-finals and media reports have linked him with moves to Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.

“We’ve had those conversations,” Shakespeare told British media. “I understand the frustration of young players expecting and wanting more time. But on the other hand they have to be respectful of their team-mates and who is in front of them.

“Hopefully he can get more game time. He’s a player of huge potential who is rated very highly here among the coaching staff and his own players.

“He’s a young lad and I understand the frustrations but hopefully this season we will see him playing more.”

Gray and under-21 team mate Ben Chillwell were given longer breaks following the tournament and Shakespeare was yet to decide if they would travel to Austria for pre-season training or join the squad directly in Hong Kong.

“Dimi and Ben Chilwell are the only ones we’ve given a longer length of time to,” Shakespeare added.

“We just need to work out whether it’s better to fly them straight to Hong Kong or whether they come here and use the fitness testing around here rather than fly them out there to acclimatise for two days.

“They wouldn’t really be doing a lot so we’ll have a look at that and assess it.”

Leicester face West Bromwich Albion in their first pre-season game in the Premier League Asia Trophy in Hong Kong on July 19.

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; editing by Amlan Chakraborty

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