Leeds United star and Italy international Wilfried Gnonto has stated that playing in the Premier League is like a dream come true for him and he has also expressed his admiration for Manchester United star Marcus Rashford.
Gnonto has impressed in the Premier League this season, having joined Leeds late in the summer transfer window of 2022. He has been called up for Italy’s international games against England and Malta, having already played for the Azzurri before he joined Leeds.
The teenager spoke to Corriere della Sera about a host of topics around his career, Premier League, Italy, Roberto Mancini and a lot more.
A product of the Inter youth academy, Gnonto spoke about the Nerazzurri and stated: “I will always be grateful to Inter, but I don’t see it as a missed opportunity. I had to make a choice, I went to Switzerland to play and I think I made the right one for me and my family.”
The Italian moved to Leeds on deadline day in the summer of 2022 and he was asked about whether the feeling of playing in the Premier League has settled in or not.
He said: “I didn’t even hope so much, it all happened very quickly and I didn’t have time to realize. But it was a beautiful emotion. The impact was good on a personal level, the team is experiencing some ups and downs.”
He also said: “It seems like a dream to me. I come from Baveno and I never expected one day to get to the Premier League or to receive compliments from such players. I live everything with great pride and I always try to commit myself to improve.”
Gnonto scored against Manchester United earlier this year in a 2-2 draw for Leeds and he expressed how he felt when he scored at Old Trafford.
“I was struck by the silence that fell, also because the goal came unexpectedly, after a minute. A good time.”
He expressed his liking for the Premier League’s atmosphere and the warmth of the fans, claiming: “The atmosphere. The fans are always warm, they make you feel the importance of the match. You understand that there is a great football culture.”
Gnonto was also asked about the player who has impressed him most in the Premier League this season and the Italian didn’t hesitate in expressing his liking for Marcus Rashford, who has been in incredible form for Manchester United.
Several times, Gnonto has drawn comparisons to Raheem Sterling and he spoke about those comparisons: “Many said I looked like him: coming up against him in the Premier was, it’s incredible. I enjoy every moment.”
The 19-year-old has two goals and three assists in the Premier League and he has shown some really impressive moments of close control, understanding space and ability to go past defenders. His future is certainly very bright.
Kaustubh Pandey | GIFN