Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Aston Villa Set To Rival Everton For This Leeds United Winger: What Will He Add To Emery’s Side?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent report, Sportitalia revealed that Aston Villa are set to rival Everton for Leeds United winger Wilfried Gnonto this summer. It is understood that the Villans are facing competition in the form of Everton and Freiburg in the race to land the Italian wide player during this summer transfer period.

Gnonto’s Difficult Season In Premier League Football

Gnonto endured a tough campaign at the West Yorkshire club as he caught the eye at times but failed to help Leeds avoid relegation from the Premier League. The Italian talent featured in 28 matches for the Whites last season, finding the back of the net four times and earning four assists in the process across multiple competitions.

The 19-year-old proved himself to be a decent performer in the opponent’s half as he averaged 0.9 shots, 0.9 key passes and 0.9 dribbles per 90 minutes in the Premier League. He even distributed the ball relatively well in the final third after completing 77% of his attempted passes in the English top flight (stats via whoscored).

Gnonto is under contract at Elland Road until the summer of 2027. Hence, the Villans will have to pay a big fee if they want to recruit the Italian winger in this off-season.

Wilfried Gnonto
OLDENZAAL, NETHERLANDS – JUNE 17: Wilfried Gnonto of Italy attends before an Italy Training Session, the UEFA Nations League 2022/23 at K.V.V Quick ’20 Stadium on June 17, 2023 in Oldenzaal, Netherlands. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

What Will Gnonto Add To Aston Villa Boss Unai Emery’s Side?

Gnonto can use his pace to make a few decent runs with the ball out on the flanks. He can create the odd chance for his teammates in the opponent’s half and can shoot the ball with venom from long range.

The Italian talent doesn’t give away the ball cheaply in the final third but needs to work on improving his productivity in front of the opposition goal. He is primarily a left-sided wide player but can also function as a right-winger or play as a striker if needed.

Gnonto will add a lot of pace to Aston Villa boss Unai Emery’s frontline. He has what it takes to compete for a regular first-team place at Villa Park next season.

At 19, Gnonto has the potential to become a world-class player in his position someday. Thus, he will be a great acquisition for the West Midlands club in the long run. Furthermore, Gnonto might even help the Villans compete for a top-half finish in the 2023-24 Premier League campaign.

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