By Sam Stone

6th Jan, 2023 | 10:10am

Phil Hay details 'odd scenario' for Willy Gnonto at Leeds United as transfer verdict emerges

The Athletic’s Phil Hay has suggested it’s now an “odd scenario” for Leeds United to be reliant on Willy Gnonto after his summer move from FC Zurich.

The Whites sealed a last-gasp move for the 19-year-old Italy international on deadline day after seeing a move for Marseille’s Bamba Dieng fall through.

Hay has suggested the club have been forced to fast-track Gnonto’s development with a move initially pencilled for the January window or the summer of 2023.

“You do have this odd scenario where Leeds were not planning to be reliant on him [Gnonto] at all. There was the plan that he was going to come in this window and if not in this window then the following summer depending on how he was doing in Switzerland,” said The Athletic journalist (Phil Hay Show, 18m 02s, 6 January).

“But they really need him and he’s someone who starts every single game at the moment and I think that will be the case when Sinisterra’s back, someone else will have to knock him out the side.”


The Dieng deal falling through has been a huge boost for Leeds, with Gnonto proving to be an excellent addition. It took a while for him to be given a first-team chance but since being thrown into the first-team equation he’s been one of the Whites’ best players.

Furthermore, considering he’s only 19, there’s a chance he will go on to be a huge asset for Leeds in the future. He plays with such freedom and fearlessness for such a young age, and it’s a surprise one of Europe’s bigger clubs didn’t come in for him in the summer.

It’s evident Leeds have a gem on their hands and it’s up to Jesse Marsch to manage the diminutive attacker in the right way to ensure he reaches his potential at Elland Road. He has all the attributes to go to the very top of the game and it’s up to the Yorkshire side to use that to their advantage for as long as they possibly can.

In other Leeds United news, a super-rich Premier League club wants to sign this Leeds star in 2023.