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Simon Grayson and Noel Whelan praise Leeds United’s Gaetano Berardi

General views of Elland Road before the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Aston Villa at Elland Road on December 03, 2016 in Leeds, England.

Gaetano Berardi played well for Leeds United against Derby County at the weekend.

Simon Grayson manager

Simon Grayson spoke highly of Leeds United defender Gaetano Berardi on BBC Radio Leeds following the match against Derby County at the weekend.

The former Leeds manager was impressed with the display produced by Berardi in defence during the Whites’ 1-0 win against the Rams in the first leg of the Championship playoff semi-final tie at the Pride Park Stadium on Saturday evening.

The 30-year-old came in for the injured Pontus Jansson and looked very strong beside Liam Cooper at the heart of the Leeds defence.

According to WhoScored, Berardi - who is a very versatile defender and can operate as a centre-back, right-back or left-back - had a pass accuracy of 85.4%, won eight headers, and made six tackles and two clearances.

Berardi has had injury problems this season, but the defender has done well when he has been on the pitch and has played his role in Leeds reaching the Championship playoffs this season.

Former Leeds manager Grayson was impressed with Berardi, and so was ex-White striker Noel Whelan.

Gaetano Berardi (28) of Leeds Utd tackles Tom Lawrence (10) of Derby County during the Sky Bet Championship Play off Semi Final 1st leg match between Derby County and Leeds United at the...

Grayson said about Berardi on BBC Radio Leeds: “I thought he did outstandingly well even when Liam Cooper went down in the warm-up a few weeks ago. Berardi came in. He doesn’t let you down.”

Whelan added: “I thought Berardi today was an absolute rock at the back alongside Cooper.”

Andre Green of Aston Villa is tackled by Gaetano Berardi of Leeds United during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Aston Villa at Elland Road on April 28, 2019 in...

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