Leeds United's Gaetano Berardi deserves praise following recent form

Elland Road pitchside

Gaetano Berardi deserves praise for his performances since returning to Leeds United's starting line-up.

Leeds United defender Gaetano Berardi is enjoying a new lease of life at Elland Road, playing the last two Championship matches having featured for just a single minute in the previous 10.

Berardi’s inclusion was more out of necessity than desire, and when the Swiss-born right-back was played on the opposite side against Wigan Athletic, Leeds supporters would not have been blamed for worrying.

After all, despite his talent the 26-year-old had already been sent off twice in his short Leeds career, and his habit of rushing in to challenges suggested his inclusion was more risk than masterstroke.

But in fact it has been the latter, with Berardi impressing first against Wigan and then against Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

And perhaps most importantly of all, the Leeds player has not been booked in 180 minutes of football.

That may sound strange, hailing a footballer for keeping his nose clean for two consecutive matches, but in his early days at the club he looked like a liability. But now he looks like another impressive defensive option, who has learned from those earlier incidents rather than merely replicated them.

A lot of Leeds players deserve praise this season, and Berardi may be about to join that list, because he has been one of the club’s biggest recent surprises and that should not be ignored.

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