Speaking to Football Insider, former Leeds United forward Noel Whelan has given his thoughts over the contract saga surrounding Gaetano Berardi – with the pundit advising him to leave Elland Road when his current deal expires at the end of the season.
Berardi, who has amassed 150 club appearances since signing back in the summer of 2014 (Transfermarkt), is currently somewhat out of favour under Marcelo Bielsa – playing just 17 Championship games all season. Of these cameos, the Swiss defender has started 11 of them (WhoScored), with full-backs Luke Ayling and Stuart Dallas preferred in the starting roles. However, during Leeds’ last outing at home to Huddersfield, Berardi did put in a noteworthy performance alongside Liam Cooper at centre-half – winning more than half of his ground duels (4) whilst completing 93% of his passes, as per SofaScore. Baring this in mind, there has been much debate over whether Leeds should indeed extend his contract – but former striker Whelan insists it may be time to go.
“It is really difficult because we will need a different class of player, no disrespect to Gaetano but we will need something more,” explained Whelan to Football Insider.
“At the back end of your career, you want to play as much football as possible because your career is short and you do not want to spend it sitting on the bench. You want to contribute more often than one game every two months.
“If he is happy doing that then fine, but if it was me I would want to move on. Help Leeds get to the Premier League but then finish your career playing as much as you can.”
Indeed, perhaps Whelan may have a point in this regard, especially given the fact that if United do gain their promotion to the top flight after 15 years of waiting, it’s highly unlikely that will result in Berardi playing more minutes. If anything, it could result in even less playing time – highlighting that right now could be the perfect time to say goodbye.
Leeds fans, should Berardi extend his stay at Elland Road? Join the discussion by commenting below…
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