Leeds United’s defensive injury problems continue to pile up, don’t they?
After Barry Douglas was ruled out for the season at the start of April, makeshift full-back Ezgjan Alioski suffered the same fate after tearing his meniscus during the Whites’ 2-0 defeat to Brentford on Easter Monday (via Sky Sports).
With a problem surrounding just who should play on the left-hand side of the back four, Marcelo Bielsa decided to give Stuart Dallas the opportunity to impress against Aston Villa. Despite starting the game positively, the Northern Ireland international suffered a cruel twist of fate as he hobbled off at Elland Road and thus compounded his Argentine boss’ issues heading into the play-offs.
Although Dallas is expected to return for Leeds when the knock-out competition begins in May, (via the Yorkshire Evening Post), his absence could give Gaetano Berardi the chance to prove himself to his worth in Sunday’s clash against Ipswich Town.
Having spent the majority of the year on the fringes of the team, the Switzerland international impressed at left-back when he replaced Dallas against Villa and knows that a solid outing at Portman Road could see him become a serious contender for the position ahead of the play-offs.
However, if he fails to capitalise on the club’s injury crisis, it could be disastrous for Leeds’ hopes of securing promotion as their opponents will be lining up to take advantage of a clear weakness in defence.
On a personal level, Berardi knows that his future with the Whites could hinge on what occurs over the next few weeks. If Leeds manage to overcome this adversity without the help of the 30-year-old and guarantee Premier League football for next season, it may result in Bielsa bringing in his five-year stint in West Yorkshire to an end in the summer.
What do you think Leeds fans? How important is it that Berardi steps up to the mark for your side against Ipswich? Should Bielsa keep the defender at the club? Let us know below.
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