By Sean Fisher

20th Sep, 2022 | 8:10am

Michael Skubala issues Wilfried Gnonto personal challenge after Italy call-up

Leeds United youngster Wilfried Gnonto will join up with Roberto Mancini’s Italy squad this week ahead of their Nations League games against England and Hungary.

After making his first start for Leeds in the Under-21s clash against Southampton last Friday, Gnonto was called up to Italy’s final international squad before this winter’s World Cup.

It’s not Gnonto’s first rodeo with his national side – in fact he was first called up by Mancini in May ahead of Italy’s Finalissima match against Argentina.

But this time around, Leeds Under-21s coach Michael Skubala has challenged Gnonto to bring his experience back and share it out among the club’s youth players.

“What an amazing learning experience for him, and to bring those experiences back, share them with the group, share them with the players, you know, you want your players playing at every standard they can be,” said Skubala, as quoted by the Yorkshire Evening Post.

“It’s only going to help him to become a Premier League player and that’s what we want him to be.”

An experience worth sharing

With all the excitement and hype around Gnonto at the minute, it’s sometimes hard to remember he’s just 18 years old.

He’s made such a big impression since arriving at Elland Road a few weeks ago, and he’s also clearly impressed Mancini enough to warrant a spot in his national side.

Furthermore, Gnonto has already recorded a goal and an assist for the Azzurri in just four appearances – so no, you’re not getting too carried away with his abilities.

Gnonto’s time away with Italy will only further develop him as a player, and also prove to Jesse Marsch that he’s ready to shine in the Premier League.

He was brought in as part of a long-term project, but as the saying goes – if you’re good enough, you’re old enough.

Gnonto is certainly proving he’s got the quality to shine in Yorkshire, and it’s likely only a matter of time until he breaks into the first team squad.

In other Leeds United news, Patrick Bamford piles praise on youth player after 6-2 win v Southampton