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Leeds United have been handed a blow over the international window, with three starting players, including the exciting Wilfried Gnonto, now injured for the opening games of the club’s Premier League run-in.
Willy Gnonto will return to Leeds on Monday for an urgent evaluation of the ankle injury he acquired while playing for Italy on Sunday, and the initial prognosis is not optimistic.
After signing for a cheap £5.2 million from FC Zurich, Gnonto has been one of Leeds’ top players this season.
Having provided four goals and three assists to his credit, his presence has given Leeds hope that they can avoid relegation.
The 19-year-performance old’s was attracting the attention of some of the Premier League’s top spenders but now the Yorkshire side may be without Gnonto’s services for the next two weeks.
It is still too early to tell how long he will be out, but sources from Italy indicate he will miss at least two weeks of action.
Mancini: ‘Gnonto is Dealing with a Sprain’
After making an impact off the bench in Thursday’s 2-1 loss to England, Roberto Mancini gave Gnonto a starting berth for Sunday’s match against Malta.
The teenager hoped to make a significant impact during his tenth international outing.
Nevertheless, after 22 minutes, Gnonto walked off the field with a sprained right ankle. Vincenzo Grifo replaced him at Stadium Ta’ Qali during the Azzurri’s 2-0 victory.
“Gnonto is dealing with a sprain, I hope it is nothing to worry about,” Mancini said after the game.
Mancini declined to elaborate on Gnonto, but he did observe, “These are matches where you have everything to lose and they get ugly.”
“Not pleasant ones. We did some good things and some less, but it was important to win,” he explained, “We could have scored a few more goals, but these matches are a bit strange.”
Leeds will now look to evaluate Willy Gnonto’s injury. The Italian winger is expected to return to Leeds on Monday and will be evaluated promptly by their medical staff.
Early indications indicate that he will likely miss the side’s trip to Arsenal, and his status for Tuesday’s match against Nottingham Forest is now uncertain.
Defensive Injuries Also a Concern for Leeds
In addition, Javi Gracia is concerned about the health of two additional regulars ahead of Leeds United’s trip to the league’s top team.
Tyler Adams is still being evaluated by medical personnel after missing international competition due to a hamstring issue.
The USA midfielder missed the team’s exciting 4-2 victory against Wolves last time out due to an injury he sustained in training.
He is questionable for Saturday’s game. But, it is probable that Leeds would rest him against Arsenal in the hopes that he might return against Forest.
Leeds are also concerned about the health of January signing Max Wober.
After joining for £11 million from RB Salzburg, the Austrian center back has made a tangible impact on the defense.
Wober, a fixture in the center of Austria’s defense, was replaced in the first half of the victory over Azerbaijan.
Along with Gnonto, he will return to Thorp Arch for evaluation of the condition, the diagnosis of which is now unknown.
But, Leeds will hope that all three injured players return to action as soon as possible as the trio are near-certain starters when available for Gracia.