Leeds United transfer news as Sky Sports pundit fears Willy Gnonto exit with Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City lurking
Willy Gnonto should not leave Leeds United “too early” despite interest from the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea, according to Danny Mills.
The Italian teenager only arrived on deadline day of the summer window earlier this season, but his performances have caught the attention of Premier League giants, including reigning champions Manchester City [Gazzetta dello Sport, 21 March].
But former Elland Road defender Mills believes that he hasn’t yet become the full package and to make the next step already would be a mistake because he has seen it happen with Whites players before.
“Two goals he’s got. He’s been fantastic to watch but you have to turn around at some stage and say, ‘You need a bit more end product’.
“He gets in fantastic positions, he’s a pocket rocket, up and down, all over the place. But only two goals, for a winger in this day and age in the Prem, he needs more than that.”
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“I’ve seen too many young players leave too soon. A lot of them have done that from Leeds. Players like Jack Clarke to Spurs, Sam Byram to West Ham, went too early.
“You go from starting to not playing football as often and that’s hard to take. Take another season, back yourself, forget the money, it’s not about that now.
“Focus on games, matches and minutes under your belt and improve as an individual.”
For the sake of Leeds United the hope would be that they can keep hold of the man who arrived for just £3.8million [Daily Mail, 1 September] after the impact he has had ahead of schedule this season.
At his age it is no surprise that he isn’t the entirely finished article, but he has shown enough ability and potential to get Champions League clubs interested.
Kalvin Phillips’ departure last summer, only to barely feature for Pep Guardiola’s side this season, is proof that even the best at Elland Road can suffer elsewhere.
But with Gnonto apparently having fallen down the pecking order since the arrival of Javi Gracia – he has been left out of the starting XI five times in then seven games that he was fit to feature in under the Spaniard – he may feel that his prospects are actually better elsewhere.
If his influence is overlooked further in the remaining weeks of the season, and it contributes to the club being relegated to the Championship, then there will be minimal chance that he stays at Elland Road either way.
Through luck as much as by design the club have unearthed a gem, but if he is bypassed repeatedly while his teammates struggle on the pitch and English, or Italian, giants come calling he might jump at the chance.
In other Leeds United news, another possible entrant into the Champions League has their eye on an injured Whites star.