From getting sent off on his first-team debut for a chest-high two-footer to a double two-footer red card in the Championship Playoff, Gaetano Berardi has certainly endeared himself to the Leeds United crowd.
He was one of the first wave of imports from the Italian leagues who rocked up when Massimo Cellino first arrived at Elland Road. Cellino arrived lauded as a saviour in the eyes of some, an arrival tainted by court cases and madcap maverick behaviour.
Those times are thankfully behind the club, and well behind at that. Cellino sold up to Andrea Radrizzani and returned to Italy with Brescia. Now the man who arrived with the dubious nickname of ‘The Manger Eater’ is set to feat at Italy’s top-table with Brescia promoted to Serie A.
With that promotion comes the need for new bodies to be brought in, and Italian site Tuttomercatoweb are reporting that Cellino’s Brescia could very well be interested in bringing Berardi back to a club he left in 2012 when sealing a £2.25miliion transfer to Sampdoria.
As well as his non-nonsense defending and his willingness to literally bleed for the team, Berardi has featured in 120 games for the Whites, including 13 this season. He’s been mainly employed as a makeshift centre-back, a campaign blighted by injuries that robbed him of 25 games.
His red card in the 4-2 loss to Derby County that ended Leeds’ season was a record-equalling 7th of his career. It also left some Leeds United fans wondering whether the affable Swiss/Italian has anything left to offer the White going forward.
His adaptability would mark him out as a useful player for the Whites, after all he can play across the entire backline as proven this season. Yet, behind that adaptability is the worry about his volatility, something that Leeds fans have seen far too often this season.