Date: 22nd March 2020 at 9:00am
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Leeds United defender Gaetano Berardi has statistically been Marcelo Bielsa’s most important player in the 2019/20 Championship season so far.

The summer 2020-free agent, who is currently yet to hold talks with the club over extending his time at Elland Road, boasts the highest points-per-game average among those in the senior fold to have featured for more than 100 minutes over three or more appearances.

Bielsa has called on Berardi to feature in 17 of our second-tier fixtures thus far, over which the club have been able to claim 2.47ppg from 13 wins, three draws and the one defeat.

United may have gone unbeaten across Berardi’s appearances had he not wrongfully been sent off at Millwall in October, too, when referee James Linington adjudged the one-time Switzerland international to have fouled Tom Bradshaw.

The Whites have also been able to keep clean sheets in 11 of the matches where Berardi has either started or entered the action as a substitute, including shutting out promotion-hopefuls Brentford and West Brom, plus Huddersfield Town twice.

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Leeds United's Luke Ayling celebrates scoring their first goal v Huddersfield Town

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Of those to have started regularly for us in the Championship this term, Pablo Hernandez holds the highest ppg average at 2.07 after starting 25 of his 28 appearances to date.

Influential holding midfielder Kalvin Phillips, who has been backed to earn an England call-up in the future, has only averaged the 11th-best ppg average of those to have featured for more than 100 minutes over three or more appearances.

United have actually only claimed 1.90ppg with Phillips in the side this term, which is less than Tyler Roberts (2.0), Luke Ayling (1.93), Mateusz Klich (1.92), Stuart Dallas (1.92), Helder Costa (1.92), Ben White (1.92) and Jack Harrison (1.92).

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Leading goalscorer Patrick Bamford, who has provided 23% of our 56 league goals having found the back of the net 13 times in 36 games, has only claimed a 1.89ppg average so far.

The Grantham-born striker’s average is only better than Kiko Casilla (1.86), Adam Forshaw (1.86), Ezgjan Alioski (1.73), Barry Douglas (1.64) and Eddie Nketiah (1.59) of those who have featured regularly at some stage of the season.

FC Lorient loanee Illan Meslier, plus Jack Clarke, Oliver Casey and Leif Davis boast the highest points-per-game average overall having only tasted victories in their outings this term, although only Meslier has featured for more than 20 minutes to date.

In other Leeds United news, a Whites ace facing an uncertain future has been backed to hold talks over a new contract.

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