Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa is set to utilise the “experience” and “passion” of a fans’ favourite in a new unfamiliar role.
The Whites have set pulses racing with their incredible adaptation to the Premier League thus far.
Bielsa’s tactics have translated to the top flight seamlessly, though his brand of football limits itself to certain types of player.
Perhaps as a consequence, Leeds remained relatively quiet during the summer transfer window.
The durability of their small squad is set to be tested during the campaign, with Liam Cooper’s late withdrawal from the starting eleven versus Wolves highlighting how perilous their lack of depth could be.
Defensive options were already limited following the unfortunate ACL injury suffered by fans’ favourite Gaetano Berardi in the latter stages of last season.
The one-time Swiss international, 32, was recently given a new one-year contract by the club. But with his return to the field still some distance away, The Mirror report that Berardi is set to be utilised in a coaching capacity by Bielsa.
Writing in his programme notes for Monday’s match against Wolves, managing director Angus Kinnear said: “This week we welcomed Gaetano Berardi back to Thorp Arch.
“As supporters know, Gaetano cruelly tore his ACL at the end of last season contributing to our title-winning cause despite technically being out of contract.
“While we know Gaetano would have happily performed the operation himself – making the incision with a rusty stud key and stitching the wound with a discarded boot lace – the club had him treated at a state-of-the-art facility in Barcelona with the intention of extending his contract for another year.
“His return to the field is some way off, but the value he adds off the pitch is just as great as that on it and Marcelo has the intention of using his experience and passion in a coaching capacity as he recuperates.”
Leeds dealt huge Phillips blow
Meanwhile, Kalvin Phillips could be out for up to six weeks due to a shoulder injury, Leeds United have confirmed.
The Premier League club confirmed Phillips damaged his shoulder in Monday night’s home defeat to Wolves, but does not require surgery.
“Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips suffered a shoulder injury in last night’s Premier League defeat to Wolves at Elland Road,” the club said on their official website.
“While we are pleased to confirm that surgery is not required, the Leeds-born England international could still face up to six weeks on the sidelines.