According to the latest reports from Mirror, Leeds United are open to handing Gaetano Berardi a new deal. The defender is currently the backup centre back option at Elland Road with Bielsa usually preferring the partnership of Ben White and Liam Cooper.
However, Berardi will have to play a crucial role in the next few games as captain Cooper is set to be out for a month with injury. The Swiss defender was sent off against Millwall, and they went on to lose that tie. The good news for the Whites is that his red card has been rescinded after a commission adjudged that he was dismissed wrongfully.
Berardi’s contract runs down by next summer and United are yet to offer any new terms to him. The report mentions that United haven’t ruled out on giving him a new deal, but the final decision will be left with the 31-year-old.
Is Berardi worthy of a new deal?
The Swiss defender has been at Elland Road for seven years now, but he is clearly down the pecking order. We think that United should wait until the end of the season before handing him a new deal as we feel that the 31-year-old would struggle in the Premier League.
The right-back who has been turned into a centre back under Bielsa is sometimes rash in his challenges, and he added undue pressure on his side last season in the crunch second leg playoff encounter against Derby County by getting himself sent off. We think that the defender has run his course at Elland Road and he should be allowed to leave on a free transfer in the summer of 2020.
Why there might be a case of keeping Berardi?
However, if the Whites don’t manage to achieve promotion, then keeping hold of Berardi would make sense in the Championship. As a squad player, he can still do a job in the English second tier, and that would probably be on the club management’s mind as well. It is a slightly tough call to make at the moment so the Whites should wait as long as possible to see where they end up next season.
The final decision, though, could rest on Berardi. If he wants to play regularly, then he might not be willing to sign a new deal as he is unlikely to become the first choice option. It remains to be seen now what would transpire in the future, but the Whites shouldn’t be handing him a new deal for now.
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