By Kevin Phillips

23rd May, 2021 | 7:00pm

Phillips: Bielsa has placed Berardi in shop window after Leeds announcement

Kevin Phillips claims Leeds United put Gaetano Berardi in the shop window after bringing him on against Southampton. 

The Sunderland legend, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, hailed the substitution as a shrewd move by Marcelo Bielsa.

This week, Leeds announced Berardi and Pablo Hernandez will leave the club at the end of the season.

Both players are popular figures at Elland Road after helping Leeds secure promotion to the top flight after 16 years away.

Berardi has missed most of this season through injury and made his come back during Tuesday’s 2-0 win over Southampton.

He came on at half time as Marcelo Bielsa changed Leeds’ system after a blunt first half performance.

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Phillips claims Bielsa was shrewd as he actually put Berardi in the shop window when he brought him on.

When asked if his appearance was almost a testimonial for Berardi, Phillips told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, “Yeah definitely.

“Also, he’s back in the shop window showing everyone that he’s fit and there’s nothing wrong with him. 

“Managers are shrewd like that and it gives him the applause and a good send off. 

“It was a good decision from Bielsa, it gets him out there. There’s probably a motive behind that. I think it’s more to just give him that send off from the crowd.”

Berardi has made 156 appearances for Leeds in all competitions and could be handed a 157th outing this afternoon.

The Whites will look to finish the season with a positive result against the already relegated West Brom.

In other news, Leeds United star tipped to become hero at Premier League rivals.