Leeds United

Leeds United: Phil Hay claims Saturday will come too soon for Wilfried Gnonto

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Phil Hay believes that new Leeds United signing Wilfried Gnonto won’t be with the first team squad on Saturday.

After fruitless pursuits of both Cody Gakpo and Bamba Dieng, Leeds had to settle with the signing of 18-year-old Gnonto, who, while is an Italian international, is yet to play any first-team football outside of the top division in Switzerland.

Given his age and need to get up to speed with English football, it appears unlikely that Gnonto will be ready to lace up his boots against Brentford on Saturday, but given he’s got over 70 first-team appearances under his belt, it shouldn’t take too long.

Hay has admitted on The Phil Hay Show that he can’t see Gnonto playing on Saturday.

“So that’s gone through, three years has been talked about [contract length] and between €4m and €5m, which is around about £4 million so that is done.

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“I’d imagine far too late for him to be involved at Brentford on Saturday, depending on what Marsch wants to do with him.”

TIF Thoughts on the arrival of Gnonto…

It does seem like Leeds are taking a huge risk until at least January replacing Daniel James who was Premier League proven and comfortable within the club and in Marsch’s system with an 18-year-old attacker unproven in a top league.

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However, Marsch must feel as if his more senior players will be good enough and able to stay fit, something that has been challenging for players over the last year, until at least the January transfer window and thus, keep them out of a relegation battle.

Although it will likely only take one injury to either Jack Harrison or Luis Sinisterra, the latter has already had one hamstring injury since arriving, and then they are thin on options and could be looking at James thinking they’d want him back, especially if Gnonto takes longer than expected to get up to speed with the first team.

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