By George Overhill

29th Mar, 2023 | 1:10pm

Leeds United hit by 'hell of a double blow' with Willy Gnonto and Max Wober - BT Sport pundit

Injuries over the international break to both Max Wober and Willy Gnonto are a “hell of a double blow” to Leeds United says Tony Dorigo.

The Austrian defender and Italian attacker went off in games for their respective countries, to compound the situation that has ruled out Tyler Adams for weeks, and although The Athletic reported on 27 March that the club are “optimistic” that neither are set for extended absences both are doubts to face Arsenal on 1 April.

BT pundit and former Elland Road defender Dorigo is hoping that is the case because of how important both have been this season, although he backed Liam Cooper or Pascal Struijk to step up in defence, and Luis Sinisterra or Crysencio Summerville to replace the attacking output.

Dorigo said in his Yorkshire Evening Post column on Wednesday (29 March): “It’s always a worry for a club manager when you let your players go for international duty and they come back injured.

“This is what Leeds United and Javi Gracia have experienced over the past weekend, with two players who have been incredibly influential for us.

“Max Wober was only signed in January but he’s looked really solid at the back and proven to be another character and leader for us out on the pitch. Willy Gnonto has been a bright spark and given us something extra, with important goals and creativity.

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“For these two to come back injured is a hell of a double blow and we’ll hope that the problems aren’t too serious because they’re players we were relying on and players we need.”


It’s probably fortunate that it is a trip to the likely Premier League champions that the two crucial Leeds United signings might miss, but the turnaround before the vital Nottingham Forest and Crystal Palace games is short.

If Wober or Gnonto were out for either of those it would be a great deal more concerning, especially regarding the former Red Bull Salzburg captain.

With all respect to the Elland Road skipper, the difference in defensive performances with Cooper next to Robin Koch compared to Wober have been night and day this season, and the 31-year-old is himself coming back from a knock.

Having Wober out at the Emirates doesn’t bode well for the Whites goal-difference but this team haven’t been blown away by anyone under Javi Gracia.

The Spaniard has left Gnonto out of his starting XI or substituted him early in every league game so far, so while the teenager arguably remains the most potent attacking threat in the squad he can probably be covered for more easily.

Jack Harrison has returned to goalscoring form, and the replacement options in Sinisterra and Summerville are pretty strong, but it would certainly be helpful if both of the injury doubts were back as soon as possible.

In other Leeds United news, a club currently have “no intention” of following through with a transfer deal with the Whites.

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