Thankfully it’s other clubs that could be taking the risk this time, rather than Leeds United.
Whilst most of the talk surrounding Leeds and the January window will be around the rumoured departures of Eddie Nketiah and Jack Clarke, former Premier League forward Darren Bent believes that there is one other man that could be on his way out of Elland Road, and that’s Gaetano Berardi.
Speaking to Football Insider, Bent feels that the 31-year-old Swiss defender, who is out of contract in the summer, will be a highly desirable asset for Championship clubs in the winter window if he doesn’t get a new contract sorted soon:
“He’s a good defender, I think he’s a better defender than Pontus Jansson. There will be a lot of teams that could do with a defender of his ilk. They’ve got until the end of the season but what you don’t want to happen is for someone to come in in January and him move for basically next to nothing. It will be an interesting one.”
I’ve only really got one response to that.
Whilst it’s true that Leeds United currently don’t have the greatest of squad depth when it comes to centre-back, Berardi is very much expendable when it comes to what he brings to the club. He’s got a terrible record when it comes to discipline and quite frankly if the club can sell him on and use the money to invest in some younger talent, or spend it elsewhere and promote young defenders up from the academy, then it’s an option they should pursue. He showed against Millwall that he couldn’t really be trusted when asked to fill in, so it’s time we thought about moving him on.
They’ve also got other players that can play centre-back like Luke Ayling, Kalvin Phillips and Ouasim Bouy, so it’s not like they’d be disastrously short.
The fact that they haven’t got him signed on to a much longer deal already indicates that they clearly believe he is on the way out, so why risk losing him for nothing next summer when you can at least get a fee. With a value £450k on Transfermarkt, that can go a long way in the Championship, even if it’s simply covering the wages for Rhian Brewster who they are looking at bringing in on loan.
Should Leeds jettison Berardi in January?
Time to start looking to the future, not just with who the club are bringing in, but also who they are letting go.