One thing Leeds United were crying out for this summer was depth at centre-back.
Liam Cooper was the only fit senior centre-half at one point, but after the arrivals of Robin Koch and Diego Llorente, it didn’t look as though the Whites would be caught short in that position.
However, just as Murphy’s law states, anything that can go wrong, will go wrong, and United have somehow found themselves with a problem surrounding their amount of depth at centre-back.
Indeed, the international break has seen both Cooper and Llorente sidelined with problems, and it’s at times like these where Marcelo Bielsa must be rueing the day that Gaetano Berardi got injured.
Leeds were already promoted and Berardi tore his ACL in one of the final games of the season, sidelining him for nine months, and this was just before Leeds were reportedly set to give him a new contract.
If Berardi had been fit and available, Cooper and Llorente’s injuries wouldn’t have been such a big deal. Now, however, Leeds will have to either move Luke Ayling across to a position he isn’t fully comfortable with or look towards an inexperienced option like Oliver Casey or Pascal Struijk.
Nobody would have thought that Berardi’s injury would come back to bite Leeds like this, especially not after just four games of the season, but here we are. United have an injury crisis at centre-back, and Berardi’s ACL issue back in July is now looking extremely unfortunate.
Of course, there are plenty of question marks around whether or not Berardi would be up to the task of playing in the Premier League, but he has previously been described as a “loyal” player by his manager.
It will certainly be interesting to see how Marcelo Bielsa navigates his way around this problem, and more importantly, it will be intriguing to see whether or not Wolves can exploit it on Monday as they head to Elland Road in what is likely to be another blockbuster affair.
Fingers crossed, the Argentine has a solution in mind that can keep Raul Jimenez at bay.