Italy’s shooting star Wilfried Gnonto – football

At the latest after the goal and assist in the Nations League games against Germany, the fans in this country know the name of the young Italian Wilfried Gnonto. The 18-year-old is repeatedly associated with SC Freiburg.

It is just 87 kilometers as the crow flies from Freiburg to Zurich. It would be downright naïve to believe that SC Freiburg hasn’t known the name Wilfried Gnonto for a while. After all, the player market in nearby Switzerland is one of the preferred observation areas for sports club scouting.

Two exclamation marks against Germany

Most football fans in this country only got to know “Willy”, as he is called, a few days ago. And must have been impressed: the only 18-year-old Italian attacker for the new Swiss champions FC Zurich caused a stir twice in the Nations League against Germany: in the 1-1 first leg in Bologna, Gnonto not only celebrated his debut for the Squadra Azzura, but, as a joker, prepared the 1:1 equalization wonderfully.

In the 2: 5 of the Italians in the second leg in Mönchengladbach, the small but strong and quick striker caused a stir in the starting XI and scored his first international goal, making him the youngest goalscorer in Italy’s football history. 18 years and 222 days. Respect.

“Willy is a fantastic boy, he has great qualities and will go his own way. An 18-year-old rascal with braces, a crush on every mother-in-law. A good guy.”

Rumors are not commented on in Freiburg

SC Freiburg has been associated with a possible transfer from Wilfried Gnonto for weeks. The assumptions that the young man could move to Breisgau persist. The corresponding request from SWR Sport in Freiburg was answered with the understandable note “We generally do not comment on rumours”. During the Kicker recently reported that Freiburg had refrained from transferring Gnontos Sky a continuing interest.

Gnonto the discovery in the Swiss league

Basically, a transfer of the highly exciting player would be interesting for several reasons: On the one hand, Gnonto is not only in the Italian national team, but also in the Swiss league as one of the great discoveries of the past season. The young professional made enormous progress and contributed to the sensational title win of the new champions with eight goals this season and several assists for FC Zurich. His contract runs until 2023.

With his great talent and pace, Gnonto would fit perfectly into the Freiburg Bundesliga and Europa League squads, and under youth promoter Christian Streich, the player could mature for the next steps in his career.

Good Freiburg experience with players from Switzerland

With transfers from nearby Switzerland, where they are very familiar, the people of Freiburg have repeatedly carried out successful personal transactions in the past: Roman Bürki, Admir Mehmedi, Amir Abrashi, Gelson Fernandes and most recently Ermedin Demirovic came to Breisgau from the neighboring country. And there are also a few promising talents from the Swiss country in the Freiburg junior teams.

Wilfried Gnonto, whose parents come from the Ivory Coast, was born and raised in Verbania on the Italian shore of Lake Maggiore and grew up at Inter Milan, but switched to the youth academy of FC Zurich at the age of 16.

Much praise for the shooting star “Willy” in Switzerland

“The fairytale rise of FCZ striker Gnonto,” wrote the The New Zurich Times a few days ago that he was now “the most valuable footballer in the Super League”. The Zurich media industry leader has long assumed that Wilfried Gnonto will leave FC Zurich in the summer “for a respectable transfer fee and move to a top league.”

But now comes the big but: A transfer fee of at least 10 million euros is under discussion. That’s a lot of money for an 18-year-old young professional, especially after two years of Corona, and could make Freiburg’s interest cool off. On the other hand, Gnonto would quickly have a multiple market value if it developed well in the Bundesliga.

Gnontos sponsor Breitenreiter now in Hoffenheim

Recently, a possible change from Wilfried Gnonto to the Baden neighbor TSG Hoffenheim was also brought into play. It’s no wonder, given that the Kraichgauers, with their new coach André Breitenreiter, have signed last year’s coach and sponsor of the player from FC Zurich. “Willy is a fantastic boy,” Breitenreiter enthuses about Gnonto to SWR Sport, “he has great qualities and will go his own way.” Breitenreiter with a smile: “An 18-year-old rascal with braces, a crush on all mothers-in-law. A good guy who still scores goals, what more could you ask for”.

TSG has other transfer priorities

According to SWR information, the well-connected TSG had the attractive young player on their notepad long before his international debut, but the Hoffenheim team is already more than adequately equipped in the offensive positions. “We have other priorities,” says new coach Breitenreiter succinctly. For example in central defence. Especially since Wilfried Gnonto is no longer a “cheap home” after his international appearances for Hoffenheim at the latest. But who knows: “If Willy needs help or advice,” says Andre Breitenreiter, “then he’ll call me…”.

Development worker Grifo for Gnonto?

And so Wilfried Gnonto’s trail might soon lead in the direction of Freiburg? Especially since the sports club earns good money with the Schlotterbeck transfer to Dortmund and – in contrast to Hoffenheim – expects further important income from the Europa League.

And don’t forget another argument: With Vincenzo Grifo, an Italian national player is already one of the managers in Breisgau. The well-loved “Vince” could therefore provide the best integration and development aid for “Willy” and ensure a corresponding feeling of home.