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Leeds United's Gaetano Berardi proved his quality against Liverpool; watch out Ayling

Leeds' Gaetano Berardi and Fulham's Ashley Richards in action

The Leeds United defender is back and ready to fight for a regular starting spot at Elland Road.

Leeds United manager Garry Monk made plenty of changes for his side’s EFL Cup quarter-final against Liverpool earlier this week, with one recalled star in particular looking like he had never been away.

Gaetano Berardi has missed much of the campaign due to injury, while the form of Luke Ayling and Charlie Taylor has seen him spend the last four Championship matches on the bench, featuring for just a single minute against Rotherham United last weekend.

Liverpool's Ben Woodburn celebrates scoring their second goal

Despite barely featuring for the first-team, the Swiss defender’s performance against Liverpool shows just what a class act he is and how important he remains for the club.

Ayling has been brilliant since arriving at Elland Road, yet on this evidence Berardi is up for the fight and will surely get more chances as the campaign goes on, especially over the busy festive period.

Leeds' Gaetano Berardi and Fulham's Ashley Richards in action

Leeds finally have real strength in depth in a number of key areas and Berardi’s latest outing proved that not only is he ready to help them fight for promotion, but he could also be a vital factor when they ultimately return to the top flight.

Many Leeds fans feel Berardi is one of the club’s best players, so do not expect him to be out of the spotlight for long.

Nouha Dicko of Wolverhampton Wanderers (C) in action with Gaetano Berardi (L) and Liam Cooper of Leeds United

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