Newcastle should look at Wilfried Gnonto in the summer
Newcastle should look at Wilfried Gnonto in the summer
Photo by Matteo Ciambelli/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Newcastle should look at Wilfried Gnonto in the summer

There’s quite a prestigious queue forming at the gates of Leeds United in the hope to snap up Wilfried Gnonto in the summer and Newcastle United should absolutely join the line.

Leeds grabbed themselves a bargain when they nabbed Wilfried Gnonto on transfer deadline day in the summer. Signing from FC Zurich for a fee believed to be around £3.8million, nobody could have guessed what a talent they’d unearthed.

The 19-year-old Italian international has found the net twice and set up three goals from the left wing in his 16 Premier League appearances this season. After Leeds crucial 4-2 win against Wolves, Premier League pundit Leon Osman said Gnonto had been ‘terrific‘.

Gnonto looked very dangerous against England

The rapid youngster came on for Roberto Mancini’s Italy side last night as they fell to a 2-1 defeat to England. Gnonto came on as Italy were starting to dominate and he only added to their threat. Every time he received the ball down the left he looked like he was going to make something happen.

He was so good in fact, that Gareth Southgate brought on extra defensive cover to deal with him, making sure there were two men around him at all times to protect the fragile England lead. BBC Sport even handed the substitute their player of the match accolade such was his impact.

Photo by James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Images

Leeds’ Premier League position is seriously under threat and should they fail to secure their top-flight status come May, there will be a scramble for their best players and Gnonto will definitely find himself with plenty of options. It’s already believed that Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea are keeping tabs on his situation, not to mention the five teams from Serie A including Juventus and Milan.

Newcastle have so far not been linked, but I can’t for the life of me understand why not. He’s young, skillful, rapid and hard working. He’s everything we’ve been looking for and he could be available relatively cheap too. Leeds would allegedly consider approaches of around £26.5m – £35.5m. Even at the top end of that range that’s a good deal for a 19-year-old with his level of talent.

It’s a tidy profit for Leeds too, so they’d likely still listen to those offers even if they beat the drop this term.

He may be too similar to a player already at Newcastle

Allan Saint-Maximin‘s form hasn’t exactly been fantastic this season and, despite noises from the club claiming the contrary. I think his time at Newcastle is probably up. Gnonto would be an ideal replacement down the left. Or, even keep Saint-Maximin and bring Gnonto in as the second option. Their play styles are different enough that having both could be a massive advantage.

Gnonto has mainly been used as an impact sub this season, and to good effect. Newcastle could bring him in to fill that role next season while they mould him to the Eddie Howe style of player.

With Newcastle’s focus on bringing in young talent it’s madness that Gnonto doesn’t seem to be on the list at the moment. The only reason I can think of as to why not, is that he might be seen as being too similar to Anthony Gordon.