Leeds United manager reveals what Willy Gnonto was asked to come back with after Italy break

Leeds deadline signing Willy Gnonto was called up to the Italy squad last week as he looks set to build on his four caps so far in League 2 UEFA Nations of the Azzurri against England and Hungary.

Gnonto will join Roberto Mancini’s Italian squad at the team’s Coverciano training base after making his Leeds Under-21 bow last Friday at Elland Road.

Following Gnonto’s role in the 6-2 win over Southampton, Under-21 head coach Michael Skubala discussed the 18-year-old’s senior call-up.

Willy Gnonto on his Leeds Under-21 debut last weekend (Picture: Steve Riding)

“What an amazing learning experience for him, and to bring those experiences back, share them with the group, share them with the players, you know, you want your players to play at every possible level.

“It will only help him become a Premier League player and that’s what we want him to be,” Skubala added.

The manager also admitted that a decision on his classification as a Leeds player would be taken in due course by Jesse Marsch, who was present last Friday.

Although a full international, Gnonto cannot be considered a United first-team player until he convinces Marsch and his coaching staff of his Premier League readiness.

Before the transfer deadline chaos unfolded, the intention was to sign Gnonto in January, allowing him to gain additional senior experience with former club FC Zürich, with whom he won the title. Swiss Super League last season.

His accelerated arrival means he will need minutes to continue his development, whether with the Italy national team, Leeds first team or the Under-21s.

Nonetheless, the experience gained from being selected from the Azzurri senior squad will benefit him and is an opportunity few other members of the Leeds squad have had.

Fellow internationals Brenden Aaronson, Rasmus Kristensen, Tyler Adams, Mateusz Klich, Diego Llorente and Luis Sinisterra will represent their countries’ senior teams this month, but Gnonto is by far the youngest at just 18.

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