Journalist Gives Update On Contract Situation Of This Leeds United Defender: Right Call By Bielsa?

LEEDS, ENGLAND - MAY 15: Gaetano Berardi of Leeds United has words with referee Anthony Taylor during the Sky Bet Championship Play-off semi final second leg match between Leeds United and Derby County at Elland Road on May 15, 2019 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

According to Yorkshire Evening Post journalist Graham Smyth, there are no indications that Gaetano Berardi would be handed a new contract. He also added that Leeds United’s Chief Executive Angus Kinnear had suggested not too long ago that they had completed their contract renewal programme.

Hence, as things stand, it seems likely that Berardi would become a free agent once this ongoing season ends. However, with the outbreak of Coronavirus, we are not yet sure how the footballing world would solve the problem of players who are running out of contract by May or June if the season is extended beyond that period.

Bielsa’s praise for Berardi

Berardi hasn’t been a regular in defence, but he has put in impressive displays when there has been an injury issue in the side. Bielsa not too long ago lavished massive praise on the Swiss defender by saying (Leeds Live), ”In the last two matches he played, he had a great performance and one of the best of the team.  For our team, he is very important. For the contribution he does every time he has to play and also as a leader, supporting every team-mate, everybody respects and loves him.”

However, even after some good performances, it seems like Leeds will not be offering Berardi a new deal. The defender has started in 11 games in the Championship this season. Ben White and Liam Cooper have been the preferred centre-back partnership for the Whites.

Gaetano Berardi of Leeds United rides a tackle from Matty Cash of Nottingham Forest during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Nottingham Forest at Elland Road on January 25, 2017, in Leeds, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Berardi is a versatile defender as he can play as a right-back as well. However, Luke Ayling is firmly the first choice starter there as he has been one of United’s best players this season.

Right call from Leeds United?

Berardi is 31, and he will be 32 in August. His age is probably the primary thing which is going against him at this stage. Moreover, Leeds are also poised to make it to the English top flight. Hence, they might be keen to show more ambition and sign a more established and proven centre-back who has performed well at the top level.

We believe that Leeds United are taking the right call here even though many might feel that this is harsh given Berardi’s performance this season. The defender stepped up to the plate against Arsenal as well in the FA Cup so many might feel that he can be a handy player in the Premier League. However, as mentioned, Leeds should show more ambition and often such tough decisions needs to be taken by the team management.

Sports Management Graduate. Wannabe sports manager/writer and researcher. If not found disscussing about sports, will be seen talking about movies or tv shows. Miserable rest of the times.