Former Leeds United player Noel Whelan has reacted less than enthusiastically about Gaetano Berardi filling in at left-back this weekend.

The Switzerland international played 45 minutes of the 1-1 draw with Aston Villa last week and is poised to deputise for the injured Stuart Dallas against Ipswich Town on Sunday.

Leeds are facing an injury crisis with no specialist left-back available so manager Marcelo Bielsa is being forced to make changes with Dallas the latest player to be sidelined.

He has joined Barry Douglas, Ezgjan Alioski and Leif Davis on the injury list, all of whom would be preferred at left-back.

Berardi made a substitute appearance against Preston North End last month and slotted in at the position but has more recently featured in central defence.

And Whelan, who made 51 appearances for Leeds during his own career, feels the defender is not the best choice to play at left-back.

“Losing Dallas is a blow, and the left-back situation is so unfortunate,” Whelan told Football Insider.

“Dallas is also not a natural left footer but he is good on the ball and going forward.

“Berardi is a round peg in a square hole at left-back.”

Whelan added that the defender is not a perfect fit for the style of play the manager wants.

“He gives you more aggression [than Dallas] and won’t let you down, but Marcelo Bielsa likes an attacking full-back and he’s not the ideal choice.

“I think Berardi is better at centre-back and right-back and looks more comfortable there.”

However, with so few options available to Bielsa, he will be counting on Berardi’s experience to help Leeds get the point they need against Ipswich to guarantee finishing third in the table.


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