Arsenal have half an eye on how Leeds United fare in the final stages of the Premier League season, with the Gunners one of the clubs monitoring Willy Gnonto.
That is according to Give Me Sport journalist Dean Jones, who suggested that a number of teams from across Europe are keeping tabs on the forward heading into the summer.
There is no doubt that Willy Gnonto has a major role to play if Leeds are going to get themselves out of danger in the Premier League. He endured a frustrating time under Javi Gracia, often coming into games when it was too late to make an impact.
But he was restored to the starting lineup against Bournemouth on Sunday. And while it was a miserable day for Leeds, Gnonto provided a reminder of what he could do with a sumptuous cross to set up Patrick Bamford for the visitors’ only goal.
Arsenal monitoring Willy Gnonto
That has largely been the story of the season – ever since the 19-year-old came into the side anyway. Gnonto has been ‘outstanding’ and a shining light for Leeds.
Unsurprisingly, there is interest in him building. And Jones suggested that Arsenal are one of the teams in the running – but they are certainly not alone.
“I know Chelsea have been linked and I don’t have too much information on there being progress with that but I do think Arsenal have half an eye on how Leeds’ season plays out because he could give them an edge if he looks to move clubs but stay in England,” he told Give Me Sport.
“Beyond that there will be so many options on the continent, I’m already hearing about clubs like Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund having an eye on this.
“But we have to see how Leeds get on in the coming weeks, because I don’t think the player wants to leave at all. He was really excited to join Leeds and has the characteristics to save them.”
If Leeds can stay up, you have to think that we stand a reasonable chance of keeping Gnonto for one more year. He has been outstanding at times. But he is not yet the finished article.
In fact, Gracia’s baffling reluctance to pick him made many forget that he had gone off the boil just before the Spaniard’s arrival.
Much will also depend on who replaces Sam Allardyce in the summer.
If Leeds are in the Premier League next year and make an exciting appointment, surely we stand a reasonable chance of convincing Gnonto to stick with us a little longer.