Leeds senior player set to be miss Derby clash after selection decision made
By Alex Stevens
Gaetano Berardi is set to be omitted from the Leeds team that faces Derby on Saturday after being named captain of the Under-23s on Friday night.
The Switzerland international leads the club’s development side in the clash against Hull in Humberside as he continues his extended comeback.
Given that the senior side travel to Derby in the Championship for Saturday afternoon’s kick-off, it means Berardi’s return to Garry Monk’s side will be delayed until at least next week.
Berardi, 28, hasn’t made an appearance for the Yorkshire giants’ senior team since suffering a hamstring injury during the season opener against QPR.
The official Leeds Twitter account revealed on Friday night that he will skipper an Under-23s that includes fellow senior pros Toumani Diagouraga and Souleymane Doukara.
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Berardi started the campaign as Monk’s first choice right-back, but Garry Monk subsequently signed Luke Ayling from Bristol City with 20-year-old Lewis Coyle the only other recognised right-back at the club.
Berardi, who completed a move from Sampdoria in 2014, does have a history of injuries after he was sidelined by ankle ligament damage twice last season and was forced to miss parts of pre-season with a thigh strain.
Leeds beat Barnsley 2-1 in their last league match to climb into the top half of the Championship for the first time this season.
Monk’s side are 11th in the table after securing five wins from six matches in all competitions, and their fourth in five league encounters.
In other Leeds team news, a 25-year-old has signed for the club after agreeing terms.