A former Arsenal fan, now a leading Championship striker. Andre Gray is a man to watch on Saturday afternoon.
After starting the season at Brentford, Gray made a deal worth around £10m to move to Burnley before the summer transfer window closed. He’s proven to be worth it, scoring 17 Championship goals (two for Brentford) in 25 games this season and firing the Clarets to third in the table.
Now, though, all attention is on the FA Cup, where Gray will be hoping to knock out the club he supported as a boy.
“Most of my boys and myself actually grew up supporting Arsenal and I’ve fizzled out of it a bit since turning professional, it’s different, but from a kid I’ve always been an Arsenal fan.
“It was the days of the invincibles so I think it might have been a bit of glory hunting at the time and then it lead from there!”
Often offside and sloppy on the ball, Gray isn’t a perfect striker but he’s explosive in the final third. When he isn’t caught offside he doesn’t miss often, and he’s almost as dangerous running with the ball as without it. Though Burnley will rotate on Saturday, he’s their best chance of getting a goal.
That may come from the bench or it may not, but if Burnley get a chance on Saturday there’s no doubt who they’ll want it to fall to. A man clearly driven to play in the Premier League, Gray will continue trying to fire Burnley into the top flight between now and May. If he fails to do so, a game like Saturday is the perfect stage to make top flight clubs aware of his ability.
This weekend is a big one with Gray intent on proving he can compete against the very best. Hopefully he doesn’t put a dent in Arsenal’s chances of retaining the cup in the process.