Leeds United and Victor Orta have made a very conscious effort since the club’s return to the Premier League to invest in a number of talents for the future, with the likes of Joe Gelhardt, Sam Greenwood, Crysencio Summerville, Kristoffer Klaesson, Cody Drameh, Sonny Perkins, Wilfried Gnonto and Darko Gyabi all arriving at Elland Road over the last two years.
And, while a number of these youngsters have already started making inroads into Jesse Marsch’s first-team squad – particularly Gelhardt, Greenwood, Summerville, Drameh and Klaesson – summer signings Perkins, Gnonto and Gyabi are yet to make a senior appearance for the Whites – although, considering their undoubted talent, it would appear only a matter of time before they do.
Indeed, while both Gnonto and Perkins are exceptionally talented young footballers, the £5m addition of Gyabi looks to have been an incredibly smart move by Orta, as the former Manchester City and current England U18 international is a player who has already generated a considerable amount of hype in his short professional career – and it is not difficult to see why.
Despite arriving at Thorp Arch as recently as July, the 18-year-old has already made a real impression within Michael Skubala’s U21 squad, having already scored one goal – a thunderous drive from outside the penalty area in a 5-1 win over Nottingham Forest – and provided his teammates with one assist over his four appearances in the Premier League 2 in the 2022/23 campaign.
These returns have seen the central midfielder come in for a significant amount of praise, with Joe Donnohue claiming in a post on Twitter that Gyabi is a player who “moves through the gears really well, escapes pressure and can pick a forward pass,” while Yaw Ampofo claimed that Gyabi “will be excellent,” before suggesting it is “just a matter of time” before his makes his debut.
Jesse Marsch also appears to be extremely excited about the future of Gyabi, with the 48-year-old manager stating of the playmaker following the Whites’ pre-season victory over Brisbane Roar (via Leeds Live):
“We were excited from the start about the possibility of adding him to the group and now watching him live and seeing his mentality to improve, even more so. I would say with him, with Archie Gray, with Cree Summerville, with Sam Greenwood and with Joffy Gelhardt, we have a core of really young talented players that we think can be a big part of the future.”
As such, Orta’s capture of Gyabi this summer – a move that “sent shockwaves” through the Manchester City academy, according to Simon Bajkowski – very much looks to have been the director of football unearthing a real diamond, as it would appear only a matter of time before the former Millwall starlet who Neil Harris dubbed “exceptional” explodes into the Premier League scene.