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Leeds: Jesse Marsch could unearth Karim Adeyemi 2.0 in Wilfried Gnonto

Leeds United were one of the busier Premier League clubs in the summer transfer window, with Victor Orta adding no less than nine fresh faces to Jesse Marsch’s first-team squad at Elland Road.

However, while a number of these new additions were signed to make an immediate impact within the Whites’ senior side – such as Tyler Adams, Brenden Aaronson, Luis Sinisterra and Rasmus Kristensen – the likes of Sonny Perkins, Darko Gyabi and Wilfried Gnonto are all more than likely to be players who Leeds expect big things from further down the line.

Despite this, all three have already started to catch the eye at Thorp Arch, with Perkins having scored six goals in five appearances for the club’s U21 side, Gyabi having highly impressed with a number of exceptional performances in the heart of the youth team’s midfield and Gnonto proving a real livewire in the U21’s 6-2 demolition of Southampton last Friday.

Indeed, despite failing to get himself on the scoresheet, the 18-year-old forward nevertheless caused the Saints’ backline a host of problems with his intelligent movement, darting runs and one-touch football, with Yorkshire Evening Post journalist Joe Donnohue dubbing the Italy international “bright” and U21s manager Michael Skubala appearing extremely impressed with the youngster’s display.

Speaking after the match, Skubala said of the teenager (via Leeds Live): “In possession he was good. I thought he was really good. He’s still new to the way we want to play so I still think he’s got lots of learning to do and he’ll do that. But I thought at times he was really exciting to watch.

“I think it’s early days, it’s really early days. For us to get Willy in the building and start working on him and see what we can develop. You see what he can do in possession.

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“I think he was really excited by the crowd tonight, he was like, ‘wow, okay, this is an U21s game, this is amazing.’ So he’s in love with Leeds already, the biggest smile you’ll ever see. I think again, that takes time and as we see more and as Jesse sees more then he will make those decisions [on including Gnonto in his first team] really.”

And, with Marsch being the manager who launched Karim Adeyemi’s career at Red Bull Salzburg – handing the forward his debut before the 20-year-old went go on to score 33 goals and register 24 assists over 94 appearances for the Austrian side, earning himself a €33m (£29m) move to Borussia Dortmund this summer – the 48-year-old certainly knows a talent when he sees one.

Indeed, should the American place his trust in the Leeds sensation this season – who was recently nominated alongside the Dortmund attacker in the shortlist for the 2022 Golden Boy award – Marsch could well be rewarded with the discovery of his next Adeyemi, a prospect that is sure to excite everyone involved with the Elland Road outfit.

Article title: Leeds: Jesse Marsch could unearth Karim Adeyemi 2.0 in Wilfried Gnonto

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