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'Runs like a madman': Italian media reacts to Wilfried Gnonto's display
Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images

'Runs like a madman': Italian media reacts to Wilfried Gnonto's display

Leeds United fans would have laughed had they been told during the days of League One or Dave Hockaday that they would, one day in the not-so-distant future, have a player in their squad who is probably some way off making his full Premier League debut but also starting for Italy in an important international fixture.

Wilfried Gnonto is surely unlikely to start against Aston Villa this coming weekend. Jesse Marsch has already spoken of the 18-year-old not yet being ready for England’s top-flight.

Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

But his ceiling looks to be incredibly high. And a further indication of that came on Monday as Italy faced Hungary in the Nations League.

The Nations League is a competition which divides opinion. But with Italy not going to Qatar this winter, there is no doubt that reaching the last four of the Nations League would have been an important achievement for Roberto Mancini’s side.

Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images

So Gnonto starting in the must-win game said a lot. And it proved to be a successful night for the Azzurri. A 2-0 win ensured that they will be in the semi-finals.

‘Runs like a madman’

And Gnonto did play a role in the opening goal, pressurising goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi into a mistake which allowed Giacomo Raspadori to break the deadlock.

Leeds fans may be interested to know what some of the Italian media made of Gnonto’s performance. And it does seem that the verdict was a little mixed.

Tuttosport rated his display at 6.5/10 and praised his effort.

“He commits himself and runs like a madman, so much so that it is he who triggers the dynamics that lead to the advantage,” they wrote.

Meanwhile, Corriere dello Sport were a little harsher, with their 6/10 score.

“Struggles to find the right position and measure in the passages. He loses too many balls, but he fights with courage, getting into the action of the first blue goal,” was their reaction.

Gnonto starts for Italy

Marsch may not have been too surprised by Gnonto’s performance. There is clearly a very bright future on the cards for the forward. And obviously, he already has the attributes – with his pace and work-rate – to get fans out of their seats and make an immediate impact.

But he is still very much a work in progress. So it may still be a little while before Gnonto has made the same number of starts for Leeds as he has for Italy.

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