The 18-year-old, who sealed a £4.05m move from FC Zurich to Elland Road on transfer deadline day, started for his country for the third time as they took on Hungary in their UEFA Nations League clash in Budapest.
He became the first Italian to reach that milestone before his 19th birthday in the post-war era and completed 65 minutes before he was withdrawn by manager Roberto Mancini, with Italy already cruising at 2-0 up.
Taking to Twitter, Donnohue predicted that the change was only ‘precautionary’ but said that Gnonto had very much been in the firing line.
He wrote: “Gnonto subbed off on 65 minutes. Took a few whacks towards the end there, occupational hazard of putting himself about. Probably a precautionary change from Mancini with Italy already 2-0 up.”
Gnonto had already provided Leeds with a glimpse of his capabilities, chasing down and challenging the goalkeeper following an underhit Hungary backpass in the build-up to Italy’s opener.
Giacomo Raspadori subsequently latched onto it and had the simple task of finishing, with Peter Gulacsi already on the floor.
Leeds supporters will surely be excited to see a teenager they signed for just over £4m already starting multiple matches for the reigning European champions.
However, Jesse Marsch will now be hoping that the ‘explosive‘ striker, to quote sports journalist Jack Douglas, hasn’t sustained a knock after ‘putting himself about’. It will be intriguing to see what the Elland Road medics deduce once the teenager returns to Thorp Arch this week.
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