- 18-year-old wonderkid Gnonto is looking at home on the international stage after registering his first Azzurri goal
- Gnonto shunned his first professional contract at Inter in favour of first team football with FC Zürich
- The youngster looks certain to move this summer with his contract up next season and Zürich keen to cash in
Gifted youngster Wilfried Gnonto continues to impress for the Azzurri, with Mancini easing in the wonderkid touted as the “Italian Raheem Sterling” in his homeland.
With Italian fans still reeling from their failed qualification campaign for this winter’s Qatar World Cup, Mancini’s introduction of the talented Gnonto has brought about some renewed optimism, with the Azzurri long in need of fresh attacking talent.
Italy’s 5-2 Nations League thrashing against Germany on Tuesday evening saw Gnonto score his first international goal. The youngster also impressed earlier in the competition, laying on an assist for Lorenzo Pellegrini in the reverse of the fixture at the Renato Dall’Ara stadium.
Gnonto’s name may be new to most of the footballing world, but that’s certainly not the case back in Italy. The youngster has long been tipped for stardom having progressed through Inter Milan academy.
Inter offered Gnonto his first professional contact in 2020, but the player decided to leave the Nerazzurri in favour of first team football in Switzerland with FC Zürich. The young attacker was reportedly unimpressed by then manager Antonio Conte’s promotion of fellow youngster Sebastiano Esposito ahead of him.
The decision to switch leagues to further his development outside of Serie A has proved to be a masterstroke from Gnonto. After an initial bedding in season with Zürich in 2020-21, Gnonto has truly exploded onto the scene this past season.
Gnonto, 18, played a pivotal role in Zürich clinching the Swiss League title, scoring 10 goals in 36 games in all competitions, mostly influencing games from the bench as an impact player.
The young forward’s blistering pace and technical dribbling skills were a potent weapon for Zürich, with Gnonto being introduced as a substitute in 24 of his 33 league games to great effect. The teenager would impressively end the season as the second highest scoring substitute in European football.
Unsurprisingly Gnonto is now being linked with multiple clubs across Europe, with Zürich also keen to cash in with his contract expiring next season. The young Italian’s next move will be an interesting one, with Gnonto surely mindful of playing time being essential to his ongoing development.