Alex Bruce has claimed that Leeds United defender Gaetano Berardi deserves an opportunity to prove himself in the Premier League.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Hull City defender argued that the difference in styles between the Championship and the top flight makes it difficult to properly tell how a player will adapt to the transition without seeing him in action.

As revealed by Football Insider, the Whites are holding off on handing the 31-year-old a new contract as uncertainty continues to surround how the Championship season will be concluded amid the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

But Bruce is of the opinion that it would be unfair to judge the Swiss star without first giving him a chance to show what he can do at the highest level.

Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “To be honest with you, it’s a really difficult one.

“Everybody says it’s a massive jump from the Championship to the Premier League, but I don’t think you can ever judge a player until he’s given an opportunity [in the top flight]. They’re totally different styles.

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“It’s a marathon, the Championship. I personally found it a lot more difficult physically to play in the Championship. You get punished more. The Premier League is a lot more technical and tactical. That’s a fact.

“So I think it’s only fair to make a call on whether you think a player is going to be good enough when you see them get a run of games in the Premier League.

“Berardi’s one of those examples. Only time will tell.”

Berardi has been at Elland Road since 2014 after joining from Serie A outfit Sampdoria.

Since then, he has gone on to make 150 appearances for the Whites, with 20 of those coming this season.

In other Leeds United news, Cash crisis revealed: Instant promotion & 22-team Premier League not as perfect as it sounds.