Leeds United have a new star and 19-year-old Wilfried Gnonto has explained why settling in England has been so easy for him so far.
Gnonto signed for the Whites from Swiss side FC Zurich on transfer deadline day in the summer for a fee of around £3.8million, as reported by The Daily Mail.
Initially, Gnonto joined up with the Under-21’s development side but has since gone on to establish himself in the senior team, where he has scored four and assisted a further two in 19 games.
The Italian is not only in Leeds’ first-team but is also a full international, and his solitary goal in eight caps for Italy made him the youngest scorer in their history, when he bagged against Germany back in June 2022.
Why has Gnonto settled in easily with Leeds?
Gnonto believes it has been easier for him to settle in England because his move to Zurich from Milan at such a young age has stood him in good stead, speaking on BBC Sport’s Football Focus, he said: “I think so [it’s easier]. When I went to Switzerland it was difficult because I was 16 and I was a little bit scared as well.”
His family have moved with him both times, he added: “My family is always with me so I don’t feel alone. I think this time was maybe easier because I just wanted to go and enjoy myself.”
However, adapting to the football was a little harder to navigate, Gnonto explained: “The intensity: everyone is fast, quick, strong. So you have to think quickly. I’m not the biggest guy so I have to be quicker in my head.”
Overall, the 19-year-old feels like Elland Road and Leeds is now his home, he continued: “I think I have adapted well here, and I feel at home.”
Quiz: 15 questions all about Leeds United’s Wilfried Gnonto – Can you score 100%?
It’s good to hear when a player is settled somewhere quickly, especially at such a tender age like Gnonto.
He’s clearly got a mature head on his shoulders for his age and that will serve him well throughout his career. The sky is the limit for Gnonto, who has enormous potential as a player.
He’s only 19 but has already played football in three separate countries, and that sort of experience will have built his character immensely already.
He won’t be with Leeds forever, but he could explode for the club before they cash-in. His ceiling is evidently high considering his exploits for Italy, but also in the Premier League so far as well.