View: Everton must urgently abandon transfer pursuit following latest development

Wilfried Gnonto has taken matters into his own hands as he attempts to push through a move to Everton by handing in a transfer request at Leeds United [The Athletic].

It is a move that went down among the Elland Road faithful as well as expected.

Ahead of Friday’s 1-1 Championship draw with West Brom, Leeds fans unfurled a banner of Gnonto’s face superimposed on the body of a baby in a nappy, the message being that the Italian is a cry baby.View Tweet

From fan favourite to public enemy number one in the space of a few short months, Gnonto’s situation shows just how quickly the mood of a fanbase can shift.

But as fickle as supporters can be, Leeds’ fanbase – which comes in for more stick than most – cannot be blamed for their stance when it comes to Gnonto.

As the situation turns increasingly more sour, and with United showing no real signs that they intend to back down when they say the player is not for sale, it is looking more and more likely that Everton should just move on.

After all, if he is so desperate to force an Elland Road exit, having hardly pulled up many trees in his only season at the club, what is to say he will not do the same at Goodison Park if a top-six club comes calling?

For that to happen, Gnonto would have to have a serious impact at Everton.

On the basis of what he showed last season, it does not look as though the 19-year-old – as talented as he is – is going to be the 15-goal-a-season striker the Merseyside outfit crave.

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Gnonto was a little unfortunate in that he was rarely given a run of Premier League starts last season, yet he scored just two times in 24 appearances.

The young Italian ranks in the bottom 22 per cent of all forwards across Europe’s top five leagues across the past year in terms of non-penalty goals scored and in the bottom 25 per cent for touches in the opposition penalty area [FBref].

While Gnonto would be an obvious upgrade on Neal Maupay, who Sean Dyche is relying on far too much to lead the line at the moment, there are serious questions to be asked of his valuation.

Everton have had four separate bids knocked back, the latest of around £25million when add-ons are included [Sky Sports].

More than that, though, the player’s attitude must surely be a concern for Dyche.

Rather than knuckle down, help his side and wait for an acceptable bid to be tabled, Gnonto has taken the alternative route of refusing to be selected.

That, combined with the fact the transfer window closes in under two weeks’ time, points towards this being a transfer pursuit Everton must abandon.