How good is Wilfried Gnonto?
The Whites ace is only 19 years of age, but he is already making a name for himself, winning 12 caps for Italy and catching the eye at Elland Road since arriving from FC Zurich last summer. In total, he has registered four goals and assists apiece in 28 appearances, looking to provide some attacking magic while others such as Patrick Bamford struggled around him.
With Leeds now consigned to a season back in the Championship following a bitterly disappointing 2022/23 Premier League campaign, it looks highly likely that Gnonto will move on to pastures new in order to avoid at least a year of plying his trade in the second tier of English football.
The teenager isn't going to be without suitors, and has been linked with a move to Villa recently as they continue to make strong headway this summer - already bringing in the likes of Pau Torres and Youri Tielemans from Villarreal and Leicester City respectively.
What's the latest on Gnonto to Aston Villa?
According to Football Insider, Villa are rivalling a number of Premier League sides in the race to snap up Gnonto in the current transfer window, having enquired about a move for him alongside fellow target Moussa Diaby, with the Villans thought to have had a £30m bid for the Frenchman rejected by the Bundesliga outfit.
The key update amid Villa's interest is that Leeds are now thought to be expecting Gnonto's departure.
Football Insider claimed: "Leeds are expecting Wilfried Gnonto to depart from the club in this transfer window. There is a lot of interest in the winger, with Aston Villa, Everton and Crystal Palace all having made enquires for the Italian international.
"Gnonto, 19, is also attracting interest abroad as clubs in Italy and other clubs around Europe have also expressed interest in the youngster.
"Everton and Aston Villa alongside other Premier League clubs are interested in signing Leeds United star Gnonto.
"The Italy international has been attracting clubs from his home country as well as top teams in England throughout an impressive debut campaign in the top flight."
Gnonto could be a fantastic squad addition for Villa ahead of the beginning of the 2023/24 season. He may not necessarily be a definite starter, but he can certainly challenge other wide players for regular football. While he is still extremely young, his caps for Italy show that he is already wise beyond his years and should only improve in the coming years, making him a strong long-term option this summer.
Gary Neville has described the Leeds maestro as "really good" in the past, while Italy boss Roberto Mancini has lauded the "quality" that he possesses, with such praise from two high-profile figures further outlining what an exciting prospect he is.
While there is clearly strong competition for Gnonto's signature this summer, Villa surely jump out as one of the most appealing options for him considering the huge progress being made under Unai Emery, as well as the fact that the Villans can promise him European football next season following their qualification for the UEFA Europa Conference League.