Leeds United might just have landed themselves the ‘bargain of the season’ in the shape of Wilfried Gnonto, according to a club insider.
Gnonto signed for Leeds United just in time this summer, with his move being announced on September 2. A full Italy international, hopes are high for what the 18-year-old can achieve at Elland Road.
It was clear that Leeds needed further support for Patrick Bamford up front. Now, they have an exciting prospect to work with, in addition to existing option Joe Gelhardt.
Gnonto, a former Inter Milan academy player, is yet to make his debut for Leeds. However, having signed a contract until 2027 upon his arrival, there will be plenty of appearances to come.
And the teenager is expected to make an impact in those upcoming outings. In fact, former Leeds forward and current pundit Noel Whelan believes the club have signed someone who will outperform his transfer value.
Whelan told online outlet Football Insider: “The fact that he’s a full Italy international just shows how highly he’s rated.
“Leeds United went in for him, he’s 18 years old – it seems like he could be a real bargain, perhaps even the bargain of the season.
“From what people are saying on the training ground, he’s very bright, lively, strong, quick.
“He could be good value for a few goals in the first team this season.”
Wilfried Gnonto ready for an exciting new chapter with Leeds United
Gnonto arrived at Leeds with 12 goals and 10 assists from 74 appearances to his name for Swiss side FC Zurich. Clearly, he is a player of high potential – and his national selectors have testified to that by giving him four senior caps for Italy so far, from which he has returned one goal.
Soon, Jesse Marsch will be working with the player for Leeds. The coach will hope to bring out the best in him.
Whether Whelan will be correct in declaring him a potential bargain of the season is another matter. There has been some shrewd business across the Premier League this summer.
But goalscorers are usually expensive. Thus, being able to bring in a player of Gnonto’s potential in that department for a fee of around £4million could be proven as one of the wisest moves in time.
For now, though, Gnonto is starting from zero with Leeds and will have to work hard to earn his place. Given how his career has been progressing so far, though, he has every chance of doing so.
And the fact he acclimatised well to Swiss football after moving away from his country of birth suggests he has a good chance of adapting to the English variety. Still, it may take some time before fans see his best version of himself. It could be worth the wait, though.
While waiting for Gnonto, Leeds have won two, drawn two and lost two of their opening six matches in the Premier League. His integration should only boost their chances of enjoying a better season than last term.
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