Noel Whelan has told Radio Leeds that Gaetano Berardi is “fantastic” for Leeds United but believes his former club need a more rounded left-back.
The Swiss defender has firmly established himself as Leeds’ first-choice for that role ahead of Vurnon Anita and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, starting every Championship game since late September.
Defensively the 29-year-old, whose natural position is right-back, is as sound as anybody in the Whites’ back four but he leaves a little to be desired going forward.
Berardi has only managed eight crosses this season, while Luke Ayling – who has played 1,000 minutes more than his team-mate – at right-back has delivered 45 of them. By December of last season, Charlie Taylor had 67.
Still, the former Sampdoria man is hardly a major outlet down the left-hand side and although Whelan admits Berardi is a brilliant defender, the former United striker would like to see his old club find a left-back who can defend and attack.
“Left hand side definitely needs to be sorted out. Berardi is fantastic, gives 100 per cent and you’d definitely look to have him out on the field,” he told Radio Leeds.
“But I just feel on that left hand side we need more happening down there because it all seems to come from Ayling and that right hand side.
“They need that little bit of help going forward because these days your wing-back is your left midfielder and your left winger.”