This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…
Leeds United currently have the best defence in the Championship as they’ve conceded just ten goals in 19 games in the league this season.
However, their defence may be depleted by the time summer rolls around as recent reports have stated that United are set to let one of their centre-backs depart the club at the end of the season.
Football Insider are reporting that Leeds are willing to let Gaetano Berardi leave the club once his contract expires next summer as a source told the site that United have no intention of offering the Swiss defender a new deal.
The report also states that this could only change if Leeds fail to gain promotion to the Premier League next term, but even with this ultimatum you can’t help but feel Leeds are making their decision on Berardi way too soon.
For a start, Berardi’s performances and his mindset could suffer from hearing this news as he knows he’s out the door if Leeds go up, so it’s going to be tough for him to get motivated.
For argument’s sake, let’s imagine that Leeds do go up this season and United don’t renew Berardi’s contract.
With Ben White’s loan deal also coming to an end that leaves Leeds with just one senior centre-back in the squad in the shape of Liam Cooper.
Of course, they can dip into the market to purchase more defenders, but it’s still a risky game to play as we’ve seen that it can take players a while to settle into Marcelo Bielsa’s system as Jack Harrison and Patrick Bamford both struggled for goals and assists at the beginning of his tenure.
Admittedly, Berardi isn’t Premier League quality. The very fact he’s claimed seven red cards in the English game alone sums that up. But if Leeds go up he’s still a sellable asset as Championship clubs will certainly be interested in signing a man who played plenty of games for a team that has just gone up.
Leeds seem to be acting prematurely in making this decision, and perhaps they should rethink their stance on this one.
In other news, Marcelo Bielsa silenced one of his main criticisms this weekend against Boro.