Since moving to Elland Road in 2014, Gaetano Berardi has experienced somewhat of a whirlwind of a career at Leeds United.
His debut campaign saw him feature primarily at full-back for the Whites yet despite producing a number of impressive performances, the Switzerland international began to forge a reputation for ill-discipline as he was sent off on two occasions.
Despite missing a substantial number of games in the following season due to injury, Berardi was nominated for the club’s Player of the Year award as his outstanding level of consistency had earned him deserved recognition. Although he would end up missing out on the award to Charlie Taylor (via Leeds’ official website), the 30-year-old had demonstrated a standard of play that he, unfortunately, has yet to replicate since.
Last season saw him miss a total of nine games due to suspension as he was red-carded on three occasions whilst this year he has only featured sporadically due to a myriad of injury issues. However, after featuring in several under-23 matches in recent weeks, Berardi was thrown back into the action last Saturday and produced a promising performance against Sheffield Wednesday in an unfamiliar role in the centre of defence.
With Liam Cooper facing a race to be fit for Leeds’ clash with Wigan Athletic on Good Friday (Leeds-Live), the former Sampdoria star might be in line to keep his place in the starting eleven. If he does indeed feature against the Latics, Berardi must illustrate to Marcelo Bielsa why he should remain in the Argentine’s long-term plans.
A repeat of the ill-discipline which has plagued his Whites career to date could not only scupper his side’s automatic promotion hopes this season but will almost certainly force his manager into making a definitive decision regarding his future when the transfer window opens in the summer.
What do you think Leeds fans? Are you confident that Berardi can steer clear of his disciplinary problems if he is selected by Bielsa? Would you keep him at Elland Road next season if you were Bielsa? Let us know below.