Aston Villa: Agbonlahor reacts to Wilfried Gnonto interest
The exciting Leeds winger may want a Premier League return
Aston Villa legend Gabby Agbonlahor has been reacting to the club’s links with Leeds starlet Wilfried Gnonto, and the former Villans number 11 believes the Italy international could be an excellent signing
How much did Wilfried Gnonto cost Leeds?
The 19-year-old made the switch to Elland Road last year, costing a mere £3.8m and being seen as a hugely exciting young player with a big future in the game.
While the Whites struggled greatly throughout the 2022/23 campaign, eventually being relegated from the Premier League to the Championship, Gnonto was one of the few positives to take, often looking like one of the most dangerous attacking players at the club, despite still being so inexperienced.
There was a fearlessness and unpredictability about some of the Italian’s performances, and while he didn’t necessarily light up matches every week, he still chipped in with four goals and assists apiece, in all competitions.
Leeds’ relegation means that Gnonto’s future at the club is now potentially in doubt, especially if a Premier League club come in for him, such as Villa. They are looking to have a highly productive transfer window before their European campaign, and that has seen Monchi and Unai Emery’s eyes turn to Yorkshire, as the pair compete with Everton for Gnonto’s signature.
Are Aston Villa signing Wilfried Gnonto?
Speaking to Football Insider, Agbonlahor, now a pundit on Sky Sports and talkSPORT, talked up the idea of Gnonto making the move from Leeds to Villa this summer, seeing him as an impressive option to come in and boost the squad:
“I do like him and I think he’s got a lot of potential. He would be joining a better team with a better manager and structure at Aston Villa. A lot of people did get carried away by him after a couple performances last season, as he did show some inconsistencies.
“But, he would still be a brilliant option to challenge for places on the wing, so I think it would be a good idea and Aston Villa could turn him into a better player.”
Gnonto could be an inspired signing by Villa this summer, coming in as someone who could immediately be a reliable squad player, but also a potential future star at the club
The winger already has 12 caps to his name for an Italy side full of big names, showing the composure that he has already shown on the big stage, and he has also been lauded for his “exuberance and positivity around the club” by Leeds chief Angus Kinnear in the recent past, painting the bit of an exciting young talent.
While it is imperative that Villa sign players at their peak this summer, in order to retain their current positive momentum, it is also vital that they continue to plan for the future, bringing in footballers who will develop over time and eventually become star figures as they head towards their mid-20s.
In Gnonto, the Villans could have the perfect option, in that respect, with his performances for a struggling Leeds side already showing what he is capable of, and this still very much the beginning of his journey as a footballer. Whether or not the Whites persuade him to stay on this summer remains to be seen, but his head could be turned by a move to the Midlands and swift return to the top flight.