Leeds United winger Wilfried Gnonto believes the ‘freedom to express’ himself has allowed him to thrive in his debut Premier League campaign.
Gnonto was speaking in an interview with Italian outlet Cronache Di Spogliatoio, where he reflected on his journey to Elland Road and how he has fared in his first year with the Whites.
The 19-year-old has scored four goals and provided four assists across all competitions since his move to Leeds, quickly establishing himself as a fan favourite.
It took Jesse Marsch two months to hand Gnonto his debut, with the Italy international making an instant impact in the wins over Liverpool and Bournemouth.
Gnonto thrives on ‘freedom’ of Premier League
Given Leeds paid just £5 million to prise him from FC Zurich last summer, it is a surprise to most supporters at just how quickly Gnonto has settled in.
Under Marsch, almost the entirety of Leeds’ attacking play went through the teenager and that was something he thrived on.
Gnonto likened the style of the Premier League to that of ‘street football’, which he believes is the reason he has been able to adapt to the Premier League so quickly.
He said: “I am a footballer who likes to be at the centre of the game. The Leeds game gave me an advantage, I’m a free kicker who can try one-on-one or cross.
“Not having played in Serie A, I know that I have found more freedom to express myself abroad. This is the best thing for a striker like me, without freedom I wouldn’t be a football player.
“Here I’ve found an environment that lets me make mistakes, there’s a lot more street football. All the skills I see on YouTube, I see them more commonly here.
“And that’s what makes me love football. From this point of view, I would have liked to have grown up in England: I would have had more agility and skills.”