By George Overhill

27th Sep, 2023 | 6:10pm

Willy Gnonto future verdict issued by international manager amid 'difficult situation' at Leeds United

Daniel Farke will “always try his hardest” to keep a player as good as Willy Gnonto at Leeds United for the rest of the season at least, according to Gus Poyet.

The Greece manager told Football League World on 27 September that it is a “difficult situation” to balance the importance of the Italian forward against the possible transfer fee he would command but is confident that the view at Elland Road will be to hold onto such a “quality” forward.

Gnonto, 19, was chased by Everton throughout the summer and made to train away from the first-team earlier this season as he tried to force a move, but the club refused all offers and Farke has since reintegrated him successfully into the side.

Poyet said: “The coach will always try his hardest to keep a player like Wilfried Gnonto.

“He needs to balance out how important the money would be to the club and how important the player is to the team; it is a difficult situation.

“When you have a player of that quality you want to keep them at least until the end of the season.”

Danger averted, for now

There was no shortage of first-team players scrambling to get out over the summer and Gnonto was a rare, and high-profile, example of one who was unsuccessful.

It can’t be overlooked that he was possibly the youngest of all the players who had genuine options to move on and Farke appears to have been quite happy to view it as bad advice from agents and bring him back in.

With the Whites currently motoring up the Championship table it clearly increases the chances of promotion, and in-turn keeping the 19-year-old at Elland Road.

That would likely be preferable in any case but with other attacking players such as Georginio Rutter, Joel Piroe, Crysencio Summerville, and even Dan James, stepping up it has provided a view of a future without Gnonto if he were to go.

It wouldn’t be a huge shock for there to be more interest in January or next summer, and while his intentions remain to be seen, the club could potentially be moved if the offer was satisfactory.

But, given his age and what he has shown at Leeds United already, the preference is surely to develop him into a genuine star in-house and keep him for a few years yet.

In other Leeds United news, another young attacker has been tipped for a “really harsh” departure with his standing at the club moving backwards.