Who is Wilfried Gnonto? If you’re an avid follower of the English Premier League, chances are you will have seen glimpses of Gnonto last season.
The young attacker was one of the very few bright spots in a poor Leeds United side in the 2022/23 campaign. While his team got relegated to the Championship, there is a chance Wilfried Gnonto will be playing in the top flight again this season.
Name: Degnand Wilfried Gnonto
Place of birth: Verbania, Italy
Current club: Leeds United
Former clubs: FC Zurich, Inter Milan (youth)
International appearances: 12 caps, 1 goal for Italy (Transfermarkt)
Club appearances: 103 appearances, 16 goals (Transfermarkt)
Wilfried Gnonto career stats
Despite Leeds United’s struggles last season, Wilfried Gnonto made quite the impression upon his arrival in England, registering four goals and four assists across all competitions (Transfermarkt).
Prior to that move to Leeds, Gnonto was handed his international debut at the age of just 18, and he even bagged an assist after coming on as a substitute against Germany. The youngster clearly enjoys playing the Germans, as he got his first international goal against them just ten days later (Transfermarkt).
Gnonto earned his move to the Premier League thanks to his impressive form in Switzerland. He won the Swiss Super League title with FC Zurich in the 2021/22 campaign. During that season, Gnonto scored a goal every 0.62 games and managed 1.52 shots on target per 90 minutes (FBRef).
The 2023/24 campaign has been a bit of a non-starter for Gnonto, but that is entirely down to his own actions. He played the opening game of the Championship campaign for Leeds United, but has since refused to play as he looks to secure a move away from the club and is now training alone (Daily Mail).
Wilfried Gnonto strengths and weaknesses
Wilfried Gnonto has tonnes of pace and trickery, and he’s an accomplished finisher, too. To put it simply, he’s a nightmare for defenders to deal with and will often punish them by either finding himself on goal, or drawing a foul from his opponents in dangerous areas.
When he plays wide, Gnonto can take defenders on and cut inside, and can also deliver a great ball into the box. However, it’s when he is more central that Gnonto becomes even more of a problem, as he manages to find little pockets of space in the box and use his deftness to unleash shots on goal.
There is no doubting Gnonto has plenty of ability, and at 19-years-old, there is no telling just how much he could hone those skills in the right environment.
The main issue with the young Italian at the moment appears to be his attitude. Refusing to play for his current club is not a good look and suggests Gnonto may have a bit of a problematic ego.
What are people saying about Wilfried Gnonto?
When Leeds United first signed Gnonto, he was quickly compared to Raheem Sterling due to his diminutive stature and dazzling dribbling abilities (LeedsLive).
The youngster has also drawn comparisons to French legend Franck Ribery (GOAL), which is high praise indeed. Gnonto has a similar low centre of gravity and agility to Ribery, which makes him so hard to get close to when he’s on a run.
A piece by The Analyst took a close look at the merits of Gnonto’s style of play last season, describing him as Leeds United’s “star attraction” and a player who is “a serious problem” for opposing defenders.
The report praises the way Gnonto takes advantage of his small but stocky physique and “delightfully close control” to either progress an attack or win a free-kick.
However, of late, most of the talk surrounding Gnonto has been fairly negative. As we mentioned above, the wonderkid has been looking to force his way out of Leeds, prompting Simon Jordan to question his “substance” and “character.”
What do The Spurs Web think?
Wilfried Gnonto is undeniably a raw and exciting talent, but his behaviour this summer leaves much to be desired. It appears Tottenham’s dressing room is full of positivity right now and the togetherness of the squad is crucial in this transitional period. Adding a young player with this kind of attitude would be a huge risk, and something Spurs just do not need to gamble on.
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