It’s an exciting time to be a Leeds United player.
After ending the club’s 16-year exile from the top flight the Whites secured promotion to the Premier League in emphatic fashion.
Leeds finished the season as champions with Marcelo Bielsa inspiring his side to some wonderful results and performances along the way.
While Bielsa is being dubbed as the magician behind the club’s performances, you have to give huge credit to the players as well.
With the likes of Ben White, Kalvin Phillips, Pablo Hernandez and Patrick Bamford all attracting real plaudits for their performances, it’s a squad game and that means that every player deserves credit.
Some have featured regularly, while others have only played a bit-part role in securing promotion, but behind the scenes everyone is key to the team spirit.
One player who fits perfectly into that category is Gaetano Berardi.
The experienced defender is a fringe player at Elland Road but is regarded as something of a cult hero due to his no-nonsense displays for the Whites.
Berardi is in the final year of his contract, and at 31 years of age seemed likely to be allowed to leave with Leeds United likely to look for an upgrade after securing promotion to the Premier League.
However after suffering a serious ACL injury against Derby County that would rule him out for nine months, the experience defender’s career appears to be in doubt.
Andrea Radrizzani is a big fan of Berardi, and discussing his injury the Leeds majority shareholder has said that he will ‘stand by’ the defender through this uncertain time.
Speaking at the end of season awards, as quoted by Leeds Live, Radrizzani said: “As you know, Gaetano has been here for six years.
“Last week he got a bad injury so we don’t know what’s going on his in life, but we’ve prepared something to remind him he’s Leeds, he’s one of us whatever decision he will take.
“He knows he can count on me and I think you as well. Gaetano, thank you for your commitment.”
GIVEMESPORT’S Phil Spencer says…
What a lovely gesture this is from Andrea Radrizzani.
While it’s not yet known what the club have prepared for him, the fact that the Leeds chief is standing by him during a lengthy injury is huge.
Berardi has been a loyal servant at Elland Road and while he may not be a player who’s capable of playing in the Premier League, he’s certainly played a role in helping the team to get there.
Whether he will be offered a new deal, or even if it’s just a base to undertake his recovery, I’m sure the 31-year-old will appreciate the support of the Whites as they look to embark on the next stage of their journey.
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