Willy Gnonto scores for Leeds United U21's vs Sunderland
Willy Gnonto notched his first goal since joining Leeds United as he hit the winner for the Under-21’s in their clash with Sunderland on Monday night.
The Italian teenager joined the club on deadline day in a move from Swiss side FC Zurich, and is yet to make his first-team debut for the club despite being fast-tracked into the squad by manager Jesse Marsch.
But the 18-year-old started for the youth team in their Premier League 2 clash with the Black Cats at the Stadium of Light, and hit the winning goal in the second half as Leeds left 1-0 winners.
Gnonto received the ball from fellow youngster Harvey Sutcliffe before bursting his way into the box and smashing a strike into the top corner.
It was the icing on the cake of a top performance from the Italy international and the forward will be hopeful that he can continue to catch the eye in order to claim a first-team opportunity sooner rather than later.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
Marsch has been a big admirer of Gnonto and already identified him as someone that can come into the first-team and make a difference.
He’s yet to give him the opportunity to do so though, and the hope is that by playing him in the Under-21’s he will be able to get more accustomed to English football quicker and get up to full fitness.
Gnonto is so strong and powerful for a young talent, with a lot of speed and technical quality to go with it. That makes him a nightmare at youth level, something he is clearly too good for.
Now he needs to kick on and keep showing that level to prove he is ready to step up into the Premier League despite his age, because he clearly has the talent to be able to get there.
Leeds’ next first-team fixture is against league leaders Arsenal on Sunday, so there is every chance that Gnonto could find himself involved in the match day squad once again.
In other Leeds news, why “brilliant” Brenden Aaronson is key to everything good at Elland Road