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Farke could unearth surprise Gnonto replacement in 18 y/o Leeds academy whiz

Leeds United head coach Daniel Farke had plenty to deal with throughout the summer transfer window as players flooded in and out of Elland Road.

The likes of Tyler Adams, Rodrigo, Max Wober, Robin Koch, and Jack Harrison, among others, departed either permanently or on loan after the club suffered relegation from the Premier League.

Three months on and the Whites are currently third in the Championship and vying for an instant return to the top-flight but that has not stopped speculation over the future of their players.

TEAMtalk reported at the end of October that sources close to the player believe that a January transfer away from Yorkshire is possible for Wilfried Gnonto.


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Lazio, Roma, and Everton are all said to be keen on the £25m-rated dynamo and this means that Farke could lose another first-team squad member.

However, the German head coach could unearth a surprise replacement for the 20-year-old forward in current Leeds academy whiz Connor Douglas.

Gnonto’s season in numbers

The Italy international has one goal, one assist, and zero ‘big chances’ created in 13 Championship appearances for the club so far this season.

He is a versatile attacker who can play on either flank or through the middle as a number ten or centre-forward but has not produced the quality to go alongside that versatility this term.

Statistic

Gnonto in 23/24 Championship (via Sofascore)

Appearances

13

Sofascore rating

6.83

Key passes

Six

Dribbles completed

14

Goals + assists

Two

Gnonto has started six league matches under Farke and this shows that his lack of contributions in the final third have not been down to a lack of chances.

It could, therefore, be a shrewd piece of business for the club to cash in on the young gem if the likes of Everton, Roma, and Lazio come in with offers, as his performances have been less-than-impressive this season.

Connor Douglas’ Leeds statistics

Supporters may expect the club to dip into the transfer market to find a replacement if they do decide to sell Gnonto but Farke could use his willingness to offer chances to young players to unearth a surprise heir.

Douglas is a versatile forward, like the Italian prospect, who can play out wide on either flank and he has showcased his potential at youth level for the Whites.

The 18-year-old winger burst onto the scene with the U18s and plundered six goals and three assists in 23 appearances – with all of those goal contributions coming in 15 league matches last term.


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He earned himself a promotion to the U21s towards the end of the 2022/23 campaign and has racked up four goals in ten matches at that age group to date.

This means that he has 13 goals and assists combined in 33 appearances for the academy – one involvement every 2.53 matches – in comparison to the current senior ace’s two in 13 Championship outings – one involvement every 6.5 clashes.

These statistics show that the talented whiz, who only turned 18 in October, has produced goals and assists far more frequently at youth level than Gnonto has for the first-team this season.

Of course, there is no guarantee that Douglas will be able to translate his form over to the senior squad but his impressive displays should not go unnoticed and Farke could look to offer him a chance to stake a claim for a place in the side if Gnonto moves on.

The head coach has already proven that age and inexperience is not a significant issue for him as 17-year-old Archie Gray has played 18 league games so far this term.

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