Journalist Phil Hay was impressed with Leeds United youngster Wilfried Gnonto’s performance in Italy’s 1-0 victory over England in the UEFA Nations League.
The Lowdown: Gnonto shines in Italy win
The Azzurri hosted the Three Lions on Friday night, with defeat for Gareth Southgate’s side ensuring relegation from their Nations League group.
That’s exactly what happened, as Giacomo Raspadori’s goal proved to be the difference between the two sides on a night that saw new Leeds starlet Gnonto play 27 minutes off the bench.
The 18-year-old joined Leeds in the summer and he produced a lively showing on Friday, putting in one hefty challenge on Jack Grealish and completing 86% of his passes.
The Latest: Hay praises youngster
Taking to Twitter after the game, Hay spoke positively about Gnonto’s impact at the San Siro:
“Good signs from Gnonto this evening. He’s an interesting guy – clever, driven, very positive reviews from coaches who know him.”
The Verdict: Promising signs for Leeds
At 18, Gnonto is still very much a player learning his trade, so it would be unfair to expect too much from him in a Leeds shirt immediately this season.
To be playing for Italy at such a young age is a testament to his talent, however, and he more than held his own on a pitch that featured some top-class footballers, from Leonardo Bonucci to Harry Kane.
Gnonto is yet to make his first team bow under Jesse Marsch – he has one Under-21s appearance to his name – but on this evidence, his chance will come sooner rather than later.
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