Wilfried Gnonto exit at Leeds United may now be written in stars after stinker v Stoke City
Leeds United star Wilfried Gnonto may well be set for an inevitable exit in January and his woeful performance in the 1-0 defeat against Stoke City could mean the Whites could well be open for business.
The Whites’ three-match winning streak in the Championship came to an abrupt end at the Bet365 Stadium on Wednesday night (25 October) after Pascal Struijk’s own goal and Patrick Bamford’s penalty miss.
All the talk and all the headlines will have certainly been about Bamford’s miss just minutes before Struijk’s own goal won the game for the Potters.
However, not much has been said about how almost all of Leeds’ starters let the fans down with their performances against Alex Neil’s men.
Bamford and Struijk weren’t the only ones to suffer majorly in front of their own fans on Wednesday night but Gnonto too, who was handed a rare first start since mid-September.
All the talk of the Italian’s exit at Elland Road really isn’t going away after Leeds Live reported on 24 October that the West Midlands outfit could change their stance on Gnonto if a £30m offer arrived in January.
Gnonto was a target for Everton during the summer window and even refused to play for Leeds in an attempt to force a move to Goodison Park and the belief is now that should a bid arrive for both the 19-year-old and fellow wonderkid Crysencio Summerville, it will make “more sense” to keep the Dutchman at Elland Road.
Gnonto has been unable to find his feet in the Championship, only scoring and assisting once in six matches as he’s been sidelined with injury and it was certainly a surprise to see the Italian picked from the off against the Potters, at the expense of the in-form Summerville who was confirmed to have a knock (Joe Donnohue, 26 October).
Wednesday should have been Gnonto’s opportunity to impress Farke and the Leeds United fans once again but the young Italian failed miserably, and it won’t be a surprise to see the club field calls for his services fairly quickly.
As per SofaScore, Gnonto rarely touched the ball with just 38 touches throughout his 70 minutes on the pitch, failed to register a single key pass, failed 100% of his dribbles, won just four of his 11 ground duels at a disastrous 36% success rate, had a 0% success rate from his crosses and did not register a single shot on target, while losing possession 13 times.
Most fans expected Gnonto to take the Championship by storm this season after the 19-year-old was so impressive in his first season in the Premier League, where he registered six goal contributions in just 14 top-flight starts under Jesse Marsch, Javi Gracia and Sam Allardyce.
But for whatever reason, the Italian has failed to get his season up and running after an incredibly disrupted pre-season and his recent injury struggles.
The likes of Dan James and Summerville have taken Elland Road by storm so far this season which meant Gnonto will have had to settle for a limited role but his rare opportunity at Stoke City has now passed him by unfortunately, and it remains to be seen when he’ll start for Farke again between now and the January transfer window.
£30m seems to be the order of business after the latest reports, but Leeds United may have to settle for considerably less than that after this latest disaster.
In other Leeds United news, this Leeds star told captain Struijk to stop Bamford taking his penalty against Stoke.