Leeds: Wilfried Gnonto likely to 'start on the bench' at Elland Road

Leeds United manager Jesse Marsch

Leeds United striker Wilfried Gnonto will start on the bench, believes journalist Pete O’Rourke.

The Yorkshire club signed the 18-year-old from FC Zurich on deadline day, but O’Rourke is not expecting him to have a big role at Elland Road just yet.

GiveMeSport The Verdict
GiveMeSport The Verdict

Who is Leeds’ current first-choice centre-forward?

When he is fit, Patrick Bamford has been the man tasked with leading the line for Leeds.

Back in the 2020/21 season, the Englishman played in all 38 of the Whites’ Premier League fixtures.

Across those matches, he scored an impressive 17 goals to help Leeds to a top-half finish, so he is the best forward at Thorp Arch.

Injury, however, stopped Bamford from replicating those numbers the following season, with the 29-year-old going on to record just nine appearances and two goals.

What has O’Rourke said about Gnonto and Leeds?

Bamford’s fitness issues during the 2021/22 campaign show why it was a good idea for Leeds to sign another striker. O’Rourke, though, does not envision Gnonto playing a big part at Elland Road at this early stage of his career with the Whites.

Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, the journalist said: “I’m sure he’ll be doing his best to try and impress Jesse Marsch in training to try and get a place in that Leeds United team.

“But Gnonto will probably be a figure who will maybe start on the bench initially for Leeds and then hopefully try and come on and make an impact when he does get his opportunity.”

What other options do Leeds have up front?

Rodrigo is another forward who Marsch can call upon, with the Spain international not disappointing his manager this season.

In five Premier League games, Rodrigo has scored four goals, which includes a brace against Southampton.

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Unfortunately for Marsch, he has been out with a shoulder injury. However, the American is hoping to have him back after the international break, while Leeds do not have another match before then.

Away from Rodrigo and Bamford, Marsch also has Joe Gelhardt and Sam Greenwood available to him, though the two Leeds youngsters are less experienced options.

As for Gnonto, it certainly will be interesting to see how he is used at Elland Road this term. Dan James was moved on just so he could arrive, but the Italy international is still just 18 years of age and adapting to a new league, so the likelihood is that Marsch will ease him into things.

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