Marcelo Bielsa has confirmed in his pre-Crystal Palace press conference – as per Leeds Live – that Gaetano Berardi is set to return to first-team training on Monday and that has prompted plenty of reaction from Leeds United supporters.
Berardi, 32, is one of the club’s longest-serving players along with captain Liam Cooper having joined in the same summer as the left-footed centre-back. Since arriving in 2014, Berardi has become a cult hero at Elland Road.
Whether it be because of his aggressive nature that has seen him receive seven red cards in his 155 league and cup appearances for the Yorkshire side – or that Leeds fans promised to raid the pitch when he scored, he is a fan favourite.
But Berardi has failed to play for Leeds since last season. Following the club’s confirmation as being promoted, Berardi suffered an ACL injury in a 3-1 win over Derby – and has since failed to feature for the Whites. He was given a 12-month deal.
Bielsa, though, has now offered hope of his return. Speaking in his press conference, he confirmed that Berardi will return next week: “He’s going to be returning to training on Monday with the team. Under-23s thereafter.”
Leeds fans have responded to the news that £32,000-a-week (Spotrac) Berardi will be back in training and many are desperate to see him pull on a Leeds shirt again before the end of the season.
Great to hear that Berardi is due to start training again soon. Will need a fair few U23 games, but great to have him around the squad
— White Knight LUFC (@WhiteKnightLUFC) February 5, 2021
To see Berardi put a shirt on for us again and in the PL would be fantastic. Loved the man ever since the sick note debacle #lufc
— SJB (@SJB_upnorth) February 5, 2021
Bera would definitely add strength to our defence and his experience could cut out a lot of basic mistakes like not clearing crosses. Also, if we were to get a red card this season i couldn't think of a player I'd rather get one 😂
— Rob James (@robbytherhino) February 5, 2021
THINGS YOU LOVE TO SEE !!! https://t.co/tTMQe9jwUD
— Ash🧡 (@Ash_Storey4) February 5, 2021
— Chris Barnes (@LeoDensian) February 5, 2021
Berrraaaaa ❤ don't care what anybody thinks I want to see him in the PL https://t.co/mdCENgQWnO
— Davey Abrahams💛💙 (@AbrahamsDavey) February 5, 2021