Agent Liam Cooper doing all he can to tempt Archie Gray with Scotland switch
Source: Heraldscotland

Agent Liam Cooper insists he is doing all he can to try and tempt Leeds United teammate Archie Gray to represent Scotland at international level.

The 17-year-old has enjoyed a stunning breakthrough season at Elland Road after making his debut in August and he has already caught the attention of some of Europe's elite clubs.

Gray was pinpointed by former Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa as a protege for the future but injuries cruelly delayed his first-team debut, but now in the Championship he is making a name for himself with a number of top performances in central midfield and at right-back.

Gray's grandfather Frank and great uncle Eddie both pulled on the Dark Blue of Scotland and he is still eligible to strut his stuff at Hampden through dad and former Leeds striker Andy, who also picked up two international caps under Berti Vogts.

Cooper has been impressed by his young teammate, who is currently the captain of England's Under-18s, but he is still holding on to hope that he could play for Scotland one day.

Scotland defender Cooper explained: "I'm still trying to tap him up, don't worry about that! I've been a bit of a secret agent. He knows I'll always be there.

"He's such a young boy and his family are steeped in Scottish and Leeds history.

"There is definitely a bit of sentiment there but he's flying at the minute with England. He's captain of the Under-18s, which is a bit of a stinker for us.

"But I'll keep nipping away and hopefully I can break him down."

Cooper is yet to have any contact from his boss Steve Clarke about helping to recruit Gray for the Scots. Asked if his international gaffer had been on the phone, Cooper said: "No, not really. Me and assistant John Carver and the boys have a bit of craic. They know how it is.

"It's tough. Especially when the boy is playing so well and is captain of England at the minute. But you never know."

Cooper has more pressing matters to worry about as Scotland look to conclude their Euro qualifying campaign with two wins against Georgia and Norway.

Clarke's side are already qualified for Germany 2024, but Cooper and his teammates want to build momentum ahead of the tournament.

He continued: "We want to finish as we started. I know it's been a great campaign but there is still that carrot being dangled in front of us. All being well, Spain drop some points and we can finish the group strong.

"I think you all know the manager, he won't let us get too carried away. We had a little celebration after the Spain game in the last camp but it was then straight back down to business.

"The manager wants to finish strong and the team wants to finish strong and that's the way it's got to be.

"We've got to win as many games as possible. On the back of three defeats, we need to snap out of that quickly. Albeit that they are three top ten ranked teams, you don't want it to become too much of a habit so we want to get back to winning ways."

With no Kieran Tierney or John Souttar in the Scotland squad, Cooper is aiming to use these two matches to put his name forward as a solid defensive option for his manager ahead of the Euros.

He added: "There's competition there. We've got a few injuries at the moment so that gives other lads an opportunity to prove themselves and prove they're ready for the Euros.

"We've only got one more camp in between then. So it's about putting your stall forward and performing to the best of your ability if you get the chance.

"I'm sure training will be competitive and we're looking forward to it. There's a good feeling around the group. Like myself, every person wants to be on that plane to Germany."