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Marcelo Bielsa confirms unexpected Leeds United boost

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Marcelo Bielsa has confirmed that Leed United defender Gaetano Berardi is back in training next week as he recovers from his knee injury.

Having arrived in the summer of 2014, Gaetano Berardi is one of the club’s longest-serving players alongside Liam Cooper.

His role in the squad has always been as a deputy to each position along the back four but his commitment to the club has seen him gain hero status amongst the fans.

A key part of the promotion-winning squad, Berardi was dealt a huge blow when he was ruled out for up to nine months when he picked up a knee injury away to Derby County in July.

It was a cruel blow for a player who worked so hard to help this club get back to the top flight.

While many might not be convinced that he has the ability to play for Leeds in the Premier League, no one can deny that he deserves his chance and that chance might be a lot closer now.

Leeds faced a trip to strugglers Newcastle United on Tuesday night, looking to get their first points of 2021 along with their first goals.

Speaking ahead of the game, Marcelo Bielsa has confirmed in his pre-match press conference that Berardi is to resume training next week.

He stated (via LeedsLive): “Berardi will start to train with us shortly, with the group. And whilst he had a serious knee injury which kept him out for a long time, many players have had this in the past and come back to play.”

The timescale of his first-team return was not specified, but having him back in the first-team for training will be a huge boost for the squad’s morale.

His mentality has been a key reason for why he has lasted so long at Leeds after a less than desirable start to life at Elland Road.

A player that’s never fussed about being bit-part, he’s someone you need in the dressing room and it’s clear that he’s regarded highly by Bielsa.

I hope he has some part to play this season as we push for Premier League safety, even if it’s a short cameo in the last game.

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Leeds United season ticket holder since 2013/14, currently situated in the middle of the FA5 noise. From Pablo Hernandez to 5-1 drubbings, I've seen it all at Elland Road.