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West Ham in hunt to sign Leeds United winger Wilfried Gnonto

West Ham United are set for the acquisition of Wilfried Gnonto as Leeds United earmark Burnley’s Manuel Benson as a possible replacement, according to journalist Sacha Tavolieri.

The 20-year-old initially expressed a desire for a transfer from Leeds United at the start of the season. Despite his return to the team after an initial absence during the transfer saga, a move failed to materialize. Currently, there is a heightened buzz surrounding his potential return to the top flight, with Premier League side, notably West Ham, expressing interest.

Tavolieri now reports that Leeds are expecting the possibility of a transfer of Gnonto to West Ham and have already prioritized Burnley’s winger, Benson as a replacement after earmarking the Belgian winger. The deal is reported to be “open and still moving” for the Belgium u21 International.

Gnonto has a contract that keeps him at Elland Road until June 2027, but it appears that he could be heading for the exit door at Elland Road. 

Need for depth

The Hammers are having an impressive season, sitting in sixth place in the Premier League standings. Their 34-point tally is only six points adrift of Arsenal in fourth place.

While they receive plaudits for their commendable League position, they also need depth to further solidify their position especially with teams like Brighton and Hove Albion and Manchester United looking to regain match form.

In a bid to strengthen their attack, David Moyes’ side have earmarked Gnonto as a potential option upfront. Having garnered significant Premier League experience, Gnonto, hailed by Roberto Mancini as a “phenomenal” player, will seamlessly slot into West Ham’s team as his speed and technicality make him suitable for their counter-attacking style of play.

Moyes has tactically utilized Lucas Paqueta and Mohammed Kudus on the left flank, a strategic move born out of necessity but highlighting the urgency for reinforcements. The injury setback to Jarred Bowen, along with Mohammed Kudus’s commitments with the Ghana national team at the ongoing African Cup of Nations further emphasize the pressing need to bring Gnonto into the team.

Gnonto is on £20k-per-week deal at Elland Road, and West Ham should be able to match his wages easily.

The Hammers next travel to Bramall Lane to face Sheffield United as they look to bounce back from their disappointing outing in the FA Cup. 

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