By MOT Leeds News speaking to Paul Robinson

27th Jan, 2021 | 1:00pm

Exclusive: Leeds 'very fortunate' as player set for PL debut can solve big injury issue – pundit

We’re delighted to welcome former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Leeds United 

Paul Robinson has said that keeping Gaetano Berardi on a new contract through a major injury could prove to be “very fortunate” for Leeds United.

Berardi was out of contract last summer but signed an extension to get to the end of the Championship season.

He suffered an ACL tear in July but Leeds decided to do the right thing and keep him on while he recuperated.

He’s expected to be back in training next month and, according to Robinson, could now play a vital role for Leeds for the rest of the season.

Robin Koch and Diego Llorente are both out injured, with the latter suffering a recurrence of his hamstring problem in the game against Newcastle.

Talking exclusively to MOT Leeds News, Robinson said, “It will be great to have him back.

“If he was fit he would have played the first half of this season with Leeds’ injury problems.

“He picked up his injury at the end of last season. People talk about Leeds’ injury problems to Koch and Llorente, but you forget about Berardi as well.

“Leeds really have had bad luck with injuries to their centre-backs.

“To have Berardi back and part of the squad – he looked like a player who was going to leave at the end of last season – he could get fit and play a really big part for the rest of the season.

“With Koch out for a while and Llorente possibly out for some time too, it could be a very fortunate and wise move to have kept hold of him for another season.”

Berardi is a very popular player with Leeds fans, who love his passion and feel in debt after he jeopardised his future to stay and help get Leeds promoted.

Berardi has never played in the Premier League but could well play a big part in the second half of the season.

In other Leeds United news, Bielsa delivers injury update on Llorente after Leeds CB breaks down again v Newcastle