A Penny for Eddie Howe’s thoughts. Looking out to his home pitch from a seat in a private box, the young man who Bournemouth’s manager wanted to make his summer was in full cry.
Jinking one way then twisting another, Demarai Gray had the bit between his teeth and entertaining the locals. He even joined them at one point, when his momentum from a surging run carried him into the Ted McDougall Stand.
For Howe, though, this was a tantalising glimpse of what could have been. Gray, the Leicester winger, was the subject of a failed £25million bid from Bournemouth on transfer deadline day and the speculation about his future and impacted on his preparations with England’s Under-21s.
Demarai Gray struck in the 13th minute to give England Under 21s the lead on the south coast
The Leicester City winger celebrates his strike after opening the scoring at the Vitality Stadium
Tammy Abragam and Kyle Walker-Peters join the midfielder in celebrating the first goal
Abraham doubled the lead for the hosts on 35 minutes with a right-footed effort
The Chelsea striker, who is currently on loan at Swansea City, enjoys his first-half effort
England (4-2-3-1):Woodman 6: Alexander-Arnold 7, Gomez 7, Tomori 7, Walker-Peters 6.5: Davies 7.5, Cook 6.5: Ojo 7 (Lookman 59min, 6), Palmer 6.5 (Solanke 70, 6), Gray 8: Abraham 7 (Calvert-Lewin 68, 6)
Scorers: Gray 13, Abraham 35, Palmer 69
Referee: Vasilis Dimitriou (Cyprus)
Man of the Match: Demarai Gray
But at the Vitality Stadium, Gray showed there was no linger impact to his confidence with a goal and vibrant performance to inspire a comfortable win over Latvia