Leeds United were held to another disappointing midweek result last time out, as the MKM Stadium played host to a bore draw with Hull City.
However, for the visitors, the clash was largely marred by the injury sustained by Wilfried Gnonto, which forced the winger to be removed after just 21 minutes. The worry now is how long Daniel Farke might have to go without him.
How long is Wilfried Gnonto injured for?
Bringing down Scott Twine near the halfway line, the entanglement clearly had an instant impact on the Italy international’s ankle, as he immediately looked to the bench.
Not to take even the slightest chance, Crysencio Summerville, a fine stand-in, was stripped and readied for action.
However, with another important clash with Watford drawing ever closer, Farke delivered the crushing news in his pre-match press conference to devastate fans. The 46-year-old claimed: “Sadly, bad news with him, because he has done his lateral ankle ligament. We wait for further assessment this afternoon with how long he will be out, but he definitely will not be available tomorrow.”
What makes this such a hammer blow is not how hard they worked to actually keep him at the club during a summer of bids and transfer requests, but instead how he had started the season, brushing aside those distractions to star.
His 6.90 average match rating marked a fine return despite having only scored the one goal, but his pace and trickery made him a consistent threat on whichever wing he was deployed, via Sofascore.
Fortunately, the club had seemingly prepared for such an occurrence, with Daniel James among others ready to take his spot. However, perhaps Farke should look deeper into his squad, instead handing Jaidon Anthony the opportunity to impress after his Deadline-Day loan move.
How good is Jaidon Anthony?
Having joined as part of Luis Sinisterra’s switch in the other direction, the AFC Bournemouth man drew the short end of the stick given how integral he was in their promotion before making just 13 Premier League starts last season, and has now been shipped back into the Championship.
However, it marks an outstanding opportunity to showcase his talents all over again, for a club steeped in history and tradition.
Looking back on that 2021/22 term, there is every reason for fans to be excited, and for Farke to choose him over James.
After all, he would maintain a 7.16 average rating across the 45 appearances he made, bolstered by his eight goals and seven assists. On top of this, a creative and combative nature emerged too, also recording 1.6 key passes and 1.3 tackles per game, via Sofascore.
Although James has started the season well, assisting twice in four starts and proving a similarly consistent threat, his inability to make an impact from the start against the Tigers was damning. – with Leeds Live’s Beren Cross noting that it was a ‘night that made him look like a better option to make an impact off the bench’.
Perhaps his role would be better served as a substitute, as Cross alluded to, allowing Anthony to once again strut his stuff in a division where he has a history of excelling.
After all, former boss Scott Parker was keen to praise the winger’s role in their promotion push at the time: “Jaidon Anthony’s a player that goes under the radar massively, what he does for this team is nothing short of incredible at times. In possession, we see his qualities, his calmness, his silkiness when he makes good decisions but the stuff that goes unnoticed is his defensive side, what he brings to this team.”
Given that is Farke’s main goal for the campaign, it marks a no-brainer to offset their Gnonto blow by unleashing the Englishman.