BT Sport pundit stunned by Wilfried Gnonto ahead of mooted full Leeds United debut vs Wolves
Wilfried Gnonto was “quite incredible” for a teenager in the 4-3 Leeds United win over Bournemouth, according to former Whites player Tony Dorigo.
The Italy international was part of a stirring comeback at Elland Road on Saturday (5 November) that saw Jesse Marsch’s side come back from 3-1 down on the back of youngsters, including the summer signing, Sam Greenwood and Crysencio Summerville.
Gnonto provided an excellent assist for the Dutch winger’s second late winner in a row, and the deadline day arrival from FC Zurich could now be in line to make his full Leeds United debut in the Carabao Cup trip to Wolves on Wednesday night [Leeds Live].
In his Yorkshire Evening Post column on Wednesday (9 November) Dorigo, a BT Sport pundit, said of the teenager’s previous performance: “From what I had seen and his ability to be able to handle that type of pressure and intensity and expectation and perform as he has done for Italy, I knew he was made of stern stuff. I suppose it was a slight surprise to me that we hadn’t seen him earlier.
“But every time Gnonto got the ball, he just looked so comfortable and to think he’s only just turned 19 is quite incredible.
“He was making the right decisions and he was doing the things that you wanted him to like running towards the corner flag or just keeping the ball and there was always a reason for the things he was trying to do.
“His decision making was great and of course we can all see the speed and ability that he has got, as shown with that great run for Crysencio Summerville’s winner. That was fantastic.
“To do all of that and then to play the weight of pass that he did was absolutely superb to set up Summerville who did it once again with another late winner.”
He may not be the central striker that the squad needed, and he may be relatively inexperienced, but Gnonto is fast becoming a favourite at Elland Road.
The assist against the Cherries showed great ability, the celebration somewhat less, and having also come on at Anfield and played a role in Summerville’s winner there, he is proving to be more than just a project.
Victor Orta will be especially relieved to see the youngster show such quality so quickly, as the six-cap Italy player was an emergency resort when numerous other deals fell through at the end of the window.
An actual centre-forward to cover for Patrick Bamford’s many absences is still a requirement, but the recent performances of Gnonto and his fellow under-21s have somehow managed to make up for various other failings.
Whether they will be able to keep up this sort of influence remains to be seen, but nobody will be complaining while it lasts, not least Marsch who has seen his job saved with the previous two results.
Having been turning out for the under-21s side in just the last few weeks it is some rise for Gnonto, whose influence now means the most likely reason he doesn’t make his first start at Molineux is because he is needed for the Tottenham league game at the weekend.