Wilfried Gnonto forced off injured for Italy v Malta, doubt for Leeds United clash v Arsenal
Leeds United have been dealt a major injury blow after forward Wilfried Gnonto was forced off with an ankle problem for Italy in their clash with Malta.
Gnonto was given a rare start for his national team in their Euro 2024 qualifier on Sunday night (26 March), but lasted just 20 minutes after suffering an ankle sprain following a challenge from an opponent.
The 20-year-old attempted to continue but eventually succumbed to the issue and according to Sky Italia journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, he was visibly unhappy about the injury.
“Gnonto had an ankle problem (probably a sprain) which immediately forced him to ask for a substitution,” he wrote.
“Vincenzo Grifo came on in his place , with Gnonto leaving the field with an obviously unhappy expression. The young winger had started his match well, but had to abandon the challenge after just over 20 minutes.”
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It’s absolutely typical that after picking up a vital win in the Premier League we lose all momentum to an international break, but then two of our most influential players get injured too.
First it was Max Wober with Austria who was forced off, and now Gnonto has been given a kick and with a massive game against Arsenal to come it would be ideal to have both players available.
Obviously there is still a week to go before that game and until a proper diagnosis is made we won’t know how likely they are to play in the game.
But for both to get injured and forced to come off the pitch suggests that it’s more significant than just a simple knock and they’ll both be battling to play any part in the game.
It’s a big blow for Leeds and Javi Gracia as we look to build momentum having moved away from the relegation zone, but now we could find ourselves dragged right back in without two key players to call upon.
In other Leeds news, the club may avoid making a big transfer decision after a big development in Europe.