Noel Whelan has hailed “remarkable” Gaetano Berardi following his comeback performance in Leeds United’s weekend win over Sheffield Wednesday.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds striker was blown away by the one-time Switzerland international after his last-minute selection for the starting XI.

Berardi was initially chosen for the substitute’s bench but was pressed into the line-up after skipper Liam Cooper injured a muscle in the warm-up.

The 30-year-old slotted in seamlessly into the centre of defence in what was his first start since last October as Leeds secured a 1-0 win against Wednesday at Elland Road.

“Berardi was excellent,” Whelan said. “To put in a performance like that at centre-back after thinking he would be on the bench shows what a massive asset Leeds have got in reserve. He is quite remarkable.

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“You wouldn’t have known he hadn’t started in six months. That has been the story of Leeds’ season. When called upon, due to injuries or suspensions, players have produced and they’ve been doing it all season.”

Berardi missed four months of the season with a torn hamstring injury and had made two substitute appearances before he started the win over Wednesday.

Leeds are next in action on Good Friday when face Wigan Athletic at Elland Road.

In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED the club are to open talks with big-name trio ahead of summer window.