By George Overhill

22nd Mar, 2023 | 8:10pm

Leeds United: Italian journalist anger as Serie A 'madness' as bargain Willy Gnonto lights up Elland Road

Willy Gnonto going to Leeds United as the whole of Serie A let an Italian international slip by is “madness”, according to Italian journalist Carlo Garganese.

The forward is back in his homeland on international duty currently where the Azzurri boss Roberto Mancini has posed the question as to why the teenager was not picked up by any of the Italian clubs in the summer, before he moved to Elland Road on deadline day for just £3.8million [Daily Mail, 1 September].

Garganese has admitted the missed opportunity angered him as an Italian football fan, and says the Whites are now benefitting from a new following in the country thanks to the presence of 19-year-old Gnonto, who has been a revelation in the Premier League.

The Italian football expert told Leeds Live: “This is a player that went for €4.5m and yes, Italian clubs are struggling financially, they certainly don’t have the wealth of Premier League clubs, but they had the money to spend on someone like Gnonto.

“For me it’s madness and as a Serie A fan I was angry last summer that no one went for him.

“They are enjoying watching him play and Leeds have become a club that a lot of Serie A fans are following now, purely because of Gnonto.”

Snooze you lose

Victor Orta deserves credit where it is due, just as he is criticised where warranted, and identifying the former FC Zurich youngster has proven to be somewhat of a masterstroke.

But in fairness to those in Italy, it was only a failure to sign a number of other attacking talents that led to the youngster arriving ahead of his planned January move, and few expected him to have such a big role so soon.

As with Javi Gracia appearing to be the right man for the manager’s job so far despite being a long way down the list of priorities, Gnonto has proven to be a key man in the Whites’ attack despite being an emergency back-up option to the likes of Charles De Keterlaere, Cody Gakpo and Bamba Dieng.

Gary Neville suggested that Manchester City would be sniffing around before long when he spent the duration of the 2-1 defeat at Aston Villa on 13 January heaping praise on the Leeds man.

And so it appears to be, as they are now joined by Arsenal and Chelsea in lining up offers according to la Gazzetta dello Sport on Tuesday (21 March).

So while everyone else was late to the party Leeds have benefited from hitting the transfer jackpot, and it will be interesting to see if they can keep hold of him in the summer where he is sure to be nowhere near such a bargain.

In other Leeds United news, another Whites star has been pushed towards the waiting hands of big clubs with what happened last week.

Be sure to follow MOT Leeds News on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with all the latest, breaking news from Elland Road.