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Why Lewie Coyle is the only sensible option to replace Gaetano Berardi

Elland Road pitchside

Leeds United could be without one of their key defenders for the rest of the season.

Leeds United may be enjoying a fine spell on the field right now but they suffered an injury blow on Saturday when Gaetano Berardi left the field with an ankle injury against Hull City.

The extent of the injury is yet to be revealed, but with only two Championship matches remaining this season there is a chance the Swiss full-back may have played his last match of the campaign.

That would be a blow for the player but it would also allow Leeds manager Steve Evans to continue the development of exciting youngster Lewie Coyle – and that has to be the way the Whites boss goes if he wants to avoid the ire of the fans.

After all, when Berardi was unavailable earlier in the campaign it was Scott Wootton who Evans turned to – a player whose mishaps and poor performances have been a regular occurrence this season.

With Berardi back, Wootton has had to make do with a place on the substitutes’ bench at best, but that could change for the upcoming matches against Charlton Athletic and Preston North End.

But it simply cannot, with Coyle the far better option now, as was proved when he came off the bench on Saturday.

Evans had a soft spot for Wootton for far too long and hopefully he has now seen enough in Coyle to ensure the former Manchester United man is not called on again in a position that is clearly not his best.

Coyle is the future of Leeds and it is time he is given the chance to stake a claim for a regular starting spot even when Berardi is back.

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