Last night Leeds United’s second-half response finally saw off the stubborn resistance of Shrewsbury Town in the Carabao Cup.
However, despite second-half goals from Joe Gelhardt and Pascal Struijk, one of the after-game talking points was not who was involved and who did what. Rather it was on a player not in the side – Wilfried Gnonto.
Gnonto started against Cardiff City in Leeds United’s opening Championship fixture. His absence from the teamsheet for last night’s cup tie against the Shrews was keenly noted.
After the game, Whites boss Daniel Farke was cryptic in what he said about Gnonto’s absence and the reasons behind it.
What did Farke say?
In comments carried by the Yorkshire Evening Post’s from reporter Joe Donohue, Farke was non-commital and tight-lipped when asked about Gnonto’s absence against Shrewsbury.
He said, “Willy was not available today,” before going on to add, “No [not injured], not available.” Farke then went on to add that he is usually openly honest and transparent when talking about matters such as this.
Cryptically, he then continued with, “I can’t give you the whole picture anyhow, due to I’m not in control of this then I prefer to give you what I can say and then not to create a story or whatever. And what I can say are the facts and the fact is that he was not available.”
His comments on the absence of Italian international Gnonto ended with a plain statement, “There will be time to make some comments to this but not currently, he was not available.”
Reading between the lines
Non-commital as he was (Farke gave nothing away), what he didn’t say could also be of importance to this matter.
Gnonto is a man in demand when it comes to the transfer market. Everton have long been linked as admirers since Leeds United’s relegation from the Premier League. There have also been overtures from other clubs.
Farke saying there “will be time” to make a comment is both cryptic and intriguing in equal measure. Absence like this, when allied to comments like that, often does lead to players likely involved in transfer talks.
That might not be the case, there could be some family issue – for example – that led to the 19-year-old not being included in last night’s Carabao Cup squad.
However, many Leeds United fans are likely steeling themselves for the fact that Gnonto could soon be on his way out of Elland Road.