Ian Wright has urged Sam Allardyce to start Wilfried Gnonto in Leeds United’s final two matches as they battle to avoid relegation.
The former England striker was giving his thoughts on the latest episode of the Kelly & Wrighty Show, where he claimed Leeds will need the ‘brilliance’ of Gnonto if they are to stay up.
After starting in the 2-1 defeat to Manchester City, Gnonto was dropped back to the bench for the 2-2 draw with Newcastle United on Saturday, coming on for the final 26 minutes.
Gnonto – who has been an instant hit since his £5m move from FC Zurich last summer – has found regular starts harder to come since the sacking of Jesse Marsch but will undoubtedly have a huge part to play if Leeds are to survive.
Wright calls on Allardyce to start Gnonto
Leeds head to West Ham United on Sunday hoping they will be able to take advantage of some heavy legs in the home side.
The Hammers are away at AZ Alkmaar on Thursday night in the Europa Conference League semi-final with the tie still very much in the balance after a 2-1 first leg win.
Leeds know that nothing less than three points is likely to be enough at the London Stadium and Wright believes Allardyce’s side are in need of ‘someone to step up’, claiming Gnonto could be that man.
He said: “You need someone to step up. Whether it’s Harrison or Gnonto. Why not start Gnonto and the exciting players so it gets you going? They need some brilliance to stay up.”
Leeds certainly played well in their draw with Newcastle last week, but Wright is correct in what he says as on some occasions, they lacked the pace and guile needed on the counter-attack.
Gnonto is capable of causing any full-back in this league problems and his ability to retain the ball is key if Leeds are going to concede possession again.
The Italy international netted his first goal for the club against this opposition back in January and his pace could be what is needed to make the difference at the weekend.