Andrea Radrizzani has signed off on some seriously smart decisions during his time at Leeds, with the signing of Patrick Bamford being one of them. However, one call he recently made is a bit of a head-scratcher. The chairman opted to extend Gaetano Berardi’s contract until the end of the current season, despite his ongoing injury woes.
Over the last two seasons, the right-back has missed a total of 38 matches due to a flurry of injuries. He is currently sidelined at the moment with a ruptured ACL and may not feature again for Leeds.
Fitness issues aside, Berardi was becoming more and more of an inconsistent starter for the Whites. Last season, Berardi was dropped for 22 games and started just 12, playing a minimal role in the club’s historic Championship-winning campaign (via Transfermarkt).
The defender also sparks worry surrounding his discipline. He has missed a whopping 18 games during his Leeds career due to red card suspensions, which is not a trait Marcelo Bielsa will want to advertise in the Premier League. The top flight strikers will be able to exploit his lack of discipline and could seriously hurt the defence by drawing in fouls from him.
Radrizzani’s decision to extend his contract doesn’t make much sense, considering the fact he is on a reported £35,000 per week, which he will be earning whilst on the sidelines recovering from injury.
Leeds will need to take to the transfer market in January to bolster their options in goal as well as attack. Spending a mammoth £1.6million on Berardi’s wages for the year seems like a complete and utter waste of money. The 32-year-old will likely be leaving the club at the end of this season on a free contract. Radrizzani must surely be wondering why he bothered tabling a new deal in such a strange scenario.