It seems that Paolo Di Canio has been hugely impressed by the performances of Wiflried Gnonto since his arrival at Leeds United.
That’s after the former Sheffield Wednesday, West Ham and Charlton attacker sent a passionate message to the Elland Road club’s new hero, via Sky Sports Italy.
Despite Leeds’ struggles this season, Gnonto has been nothing short of a revelation for the club, following his summer move from Zurich.
The 19-year-old Italy international has produced some stand out performances for the Yorkshire club, becoming a firm hit with fans and neutrals alike.
One of his best moments though, came with his stunning volley in the FA Cup replay win over Cardiff, which many compared to Di Canio’s own famous volley for West Ham against Wimbledon in 2000.
Now it appears as though the man himself, also saw the similarities between his effort, and that goal scored by Gnonto last month.
During an interview with Sky Sports Italy, Gnonto was shown a recorded message from Di Canio, in which he told the Leeds man: “Hi Willy, first of all, I want to congratulate you because you have fitted in very quickly into the most beautiful, most coveted, most spectacular, most difficult championship in the world. Well done!
“But when you score like this, I’m getting a lot of phone calls, like I’m your grandfather, asking ‘have you seen it?’ I saw it, it’s beautiful and very similar (to mine).
“A very difficult goal. Beautiful, beautiful. Don’t do it better now or they’ll bombard me with phone calls and I can’t answer them all. Anyway, well done and God Save the Premier League. Good luck and God Bless.”
This you feel, will have been really good to see for Gnonto.
Di Canio skill, ability and temperament as a player made him a major icon with a big profile around the World, that continues to this day.
You feel therefore, that receiving a message like this from him, will be a confidence booster for Gnonto, which may allow him to go out and express himself even more.
That is just what Leeds need right now, with the teenager likely to be key to their hopes of survival, and given how well he has done in such challenging circumstances at Leeds, it is hard to argue with Di Canio’s verdict on his performances as well.