Leeds: Fresh Wilfried Gnonto update emerges at Elland Road

Leeds United manager Jesse Marsch

Leeds United signing Wilfried Gnonto will be given time to settle at Elland Road, says transfer insider Dean Jones.

The striker joined the Yorkshire club from FC Zurich on deadline day in a boost to Jesse Marsch, but Jones is not expecting him to make an immediate impact.

Why did Leeds sign Gnonto?

Marsch felt that Leeds needed to bring in a new No.9, something he spoke about after Dan James’ loan move to Fulham, which helped to facilitate Gnonto’s arrival.

“He [James] always gives everything to the group, but we were trying to work out how to get the balance right,” the American told the BBC.

“Dan was garnering the most interest and doing this was the only way to create flexibility to get in the striker we felt we needed.”

Patrick Bamford spent a lot of time on the sidelines last season, while Rodrigo is currently out injured, so Marsch will be pleased that Gnonto was bought.

What has Jones said about Gnonto and Leeds?

Jones has told GIVEMESPORT that Leeds’ plan is to introduce Gnonto to Premier League football slowly, though Rodrigo now being unavailable could perhaps complicate that.

Speaking to GMS, the journalist said: “He was really seen as a player that would be given time to adapt, and there’s no panic for him to break through in a matter of weeks.

“I was told when they signed him that he would be carefully managed so that when he comes into the team and onto the scene, he could make an impact. So I think they’re going to be a little bit cautious about how they use him.”

Should Gnonto be given time to adapt?

Undoubtedly. He is still just 18 years of age and has no experience playing in arguably the best football division in the world.

While it could be tempting to throw Gnonto into the team following Rodrigo’s injury, doing so could be counter-productive.

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If it is a game the Italian is not ready for and he ends up putting in a bad performance, his confidence could easily be damaged.

In an ideal world for Marsch, Bamford is fit and starts. But if the Englishman is not available, the Leeds manager is probably better off using Joe Gelhardt or doing something more unconventional like deploying Brenden Aaronson as a false nine than chucking Gnonto in at the deep end.

However, that is only if Gnonto is not ready. While it appears that Marsch wants to give the Italy international as much time as possible to settle in, if the 48-year-old feels he can potentially grab a goal and make some sort of impact now, then it is an option that should not be completely taken off the table.

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