By Kevin Phillips

7th Feb, 2021 | 7:00pm

Phillips: Celtic 'missed a trick' not signing Gray in £3m January deal

Kevin Phillips has claimed Celtic “missed a trick” in not signing dazzling attacker Demarai Gray from Leicester City last month.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Sunderland and England striker claimed the 24-year-old would have been a “quality” signing for Neil Lennon’s side.

Leicester City confirmed last week that Gray had moved to Bayer Leverkusen in a permanent deal worth a reported £3million.

The winger was predominantly used as a substitute for the Foxes and his 169 appearances yielded 13 goals and 17 assists.

Gray scored just 10 minutes into his Bundesliga debut for Bayer Leverkusen – a 5-2 win over Stuttgart on Saturday.

Phillips believes the former England Under-21 international still has a big future ahead of him despite having fallen “off the radar” in recent seasons.

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“I think a lot of clubs missed a trick in not signing Demarai Gray,” he told Football Insider.

“Yes, he has not played for a while and he has gone off the radar but he has still got a lot of quality. He is another player who needs to play regular football to reignite his career.

“He has opted to go abroad and you have to give him credit for that. It is a total change of environment, a different lifestyle and style of football.

“It was an opportunity missed for Celtic and a few Premier League clubs I think.

“I wish him good luck though and hopefully he develops and gets back to England pretty soon.” 

In other news, Alan Hutton backs Craig Gordon’s claim that Celtic could stay miles behind Rangers for years.