By Daniel Feliciano

27th Mar, 2023 | 9:10am

Crysencio Summerville has proven he can step up for Leeds United if Wilfried Gnonto leaves this summer

It seems to be a regular occurrence now that a Leeds player is going to be linked with a mega-money move away during a transfer window.

The first four transfer windows after our return to the Premier League were dominated by speculation that Kalvin Phillips and/or Raphinha would leave the club, with both eventually leaving for a combined fee of around £100m to Manchester City and Barcelona respectively.

In January it was goalkeeper Illan Meslier and Jack Harrison who were tipped for exits out of Elland Road, with the playmaker almost joining Leicester in a £25m deal before the plug was pulled at the 11th hour.

But with survival and Premier League status once again not quite confirmed for the next season, the talk is now that the new star of the attack Wilfried Gnonto could be the one out of the door this summer.

The Italy international joined last summer for just £4m from FC Zurich as the club pulled the trigger on a deal that was initially set to be for a later date when they needed attacking reinforcements.

Initially playing with the Under-21’s with Jesse Marsch unsure if he was ready to take part in the first-team, Gnonto has gone on to cement himself as a key figure in the Elland Road attack and has emerged as a fan favourite.

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However since the arrival of Javi Gracia for this relegation battle, Gnonto hasn’t been relied upon nearly as heavily and that has led to speculation that some of the bigger names in his homeland could look to take advantage with a big bid.

Juventus, Inter Milan, AC Milan, Roma and Atalanta are said to be keen on signing the 20-year-old winger, while Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea also hold an interest according to reports.

Leeds would reportedly demand at least £30m to let him go this summer, which would be a huge profit for the club and a pretty fair deal for whoever was successful in signing him.

But while Leeds are said to be confident he won’t leave any time soon, they do already have a replacement within their ranks who has proven himself.

Crysencio Summerville was another who broke into the first-team properly this season, and he was seen by many as the replacement for Raphinha and even took his number 10 shirt.

But while it’s Gnonto who has taken all the headlines and spotlight, the Dutch youth international has shone regularly when given the opportunity this season.

The 21-year-old has scored four goals and registered two assists in nine Premier League starts this season, including the winners at Anfield and against Bournemouth before the World Cup.

He has stepped up when given chances, and if Gnonto were to leave they still have another top, young attacking talent who has the ability to make a massive difference the same way.

Losing Gnonto would be a huge blow, but there needn’t be a massive worry about replacing him should the worst happen. Summerville is already at the club and ready to take over the mantle as the main man at Elland Road.

He just needs to be given the chance to show it again.

In other Leeds news, the club are ready to offer a new contract to one first-team star whose deal is up in 2024.

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