Jermaine Beckford has told the No Tippy Tappy Podcast that he has spoken to Willy Gnonto over his lack of game time at Elland Road – and says the player has told him he “does not know” why he is continually being overlooked.
Gnonto, 19, has not started a Premier League match since the 4-2 win over Wolves. Injury with Italy saw him miss the 4-1 loss to Arsenal, and he returned to the bench without coming on in the 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest.
Fully fit, Gnonto has only been used as a sub since – coming on against Palace, Liverpool and Fulham. Then, on Tuesday night, fans called for the Italy ace to come on, and for Javi Gracia to make a sub. The game ended 1-1.
Gnonto remained an unused sub. With Luis Sinsterra going off in the first half, Gnonto was overlooked for teammate Crysencio Summerville. Brenden Aaronson also came on but Gnonto remained on the touchline on Tuesday night.
Beckford spoke immediately after the game on BT Sport, describing his no-show as “bizarre”. Many have had their say. Now, Beckford says he spoke to Gnonto about being overlooked – and the player does not know the reason.
“A little bit, yes,” Beckford said, when asked if he is worried about relegation. “One of the biggest issues at Leeds currently is that he should be playing in this situation. Gnonto, he’s fantastic, so positive, so direct with the ball.
“He gets play up the field, doesn’t mind defending, he has a mean streak. Fantastic. I’ve spoken to him directly. He said he doesn’t know – or he does know, and he’s just not telling me because of my position in the media.”
Beckford has spoken to Gnonto over lack of Leeds United game time
It is bizarre, as Beckford said. Gnonto is likely to have some knowledge as to why he is being overlooked and even if he knew, he was never going to tell Beckford. The Leeds icon is now a media personality – and the issue is in-house.
Ex-Leeds women’s player Lucy Ward has told a BT Sport podcast that she has heard murmurs of unrest behind the scenes. It will be interesting to see what Gracia does on Sunday, when Leeds travel south to take on Bournemouth.