Leeds United winger Wilfried Gnonto has named Aston Villa’s Ashley Young as his toughest opponent since moving to the Premier League.

The Whites’ teenage star was speaking in an interview with Italian outlet Cronache Di Spogliatoio where he reflected on his rather unusual career path so far.

Gnonto and Young were directly up against one another in Leeds’ trip to Villa Park back in January, where they were beaten 2-1.

Leeds United v Crystal Palace - Premier League
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It was a game that perhaps typified the reign of Jesse Marsch at Elland Road, with Leeds performing well and creating chances, but ultimately falling short.

Gnonto selects Young as toughest opponent at Leeds

Gnonto’s battle with Young was certainly one of the highlights of the 90 minutes, with the latter arguably getting the better of the Italian in the first half.

He refused to allow his head to drop, though, and as the game went on continually had the beating of Young before laying on a superb assist for Patrick Bamford.

Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville waxed lyrical over Gnonto on commentary throughout the match, hailing his football intelligence despite his young age.

Gnonto spoke of how ‘annoying’ Young was to play against due to the way he constantly tried ‘getting inside’ his head as a tactic to stop him.

He said: “In the Premier League it’s not easy to dribble: everyone studies everyone so they know what you prefer to do and how you most commonly behave.

Aston Villa v Leeds United - Premier League
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“You always have to train and think about doing something unexpected, it’s exciting because it stimulates you to try and do new things.

“The defender who put me in the most difficulty was Ashley Young because he was annoying: he kept talking, making himself heard and getting inside my head.

“I stayed focused on the match and personally it went well, I even made an assist. I’ve always been convinced that I chose Leeds, the Premier League is the best» continued Gnonto, now at Leeds after growing up in the Inter youth sector.”

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