Gaetano Berardi has stepped up his recovery from an anterior cruciate ligament at Leeds United this week, playing twice for the club’s Under-23 side in the space of five days – and Salim Lamrani has delivered a two-word verdict on the defender.
Berardi, 32, has been missing since suffering a long-term knee injury in the final games of the 2019-20 campaign – having already gained promotion. With his contract expiring, Andrea Radrizzani handed him another 12-month contract.
He has since been working relentlessly to get back to fitness, and last month – the Whites posted a video on Twitter, confirming the one-time Switzerland international had returned to training. On Monday, he played 45 minutes against Crystal Palace.
Then, only a few days later, he started against Wolves on Friday afternoon – as Rodrigo scored twice in another Under-23’s win. Berardi lasted 45 minutes again and Marcelo Bielsa’s ex-translator Lamrani reacted to the club capturing Berardi in action.
The Best https://t.co/JN9y7mznlb
— Salim Lamrani (@SalimLamraniOff) March 5, 2021
Berardi is now in with a chance of playing for the club’s senior side before the end of the season, with 11 Premier League games still to play. That is a far cry from rupturing his ACL, and a new contract looking unlikely for the ex-Sampdoria man.
The versatile defender is out of contract in June and it might be inevitable that the experienced defender does depart in the next few months. But he might get the chance to play in the Premier League once or twice before that.