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Promotion-winning duo Pablo Hernandez and Gaetano Berardi are to leave Leeds

Derby County v Leeds United – Sky Bet Championship – Pride Park
(Image credit: Mike Egerton)

Leeds have announced that promotion winners Pablo Hernandez and Gaetano Berardi will leave the club after Sunday’s game against West Brom.

The two fan favourites will say their Elland Road farewells as supporters return to the stadium for the first time since March 2020.

Since then, both have played key roles in securing Leeds’ return to the top flight after a 16-year absence, with Leeds saying in a statement on the club website “we cannot put into words the gratitude and thanks we share for both players”.

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Berardi – Leeds’ longest-serving player since arriving in 2014 – suffered a serious knee injury in the penultimate game of last season but was given a new deal to assist him during his rehabilitation and made his Premier League debut at the age of 32 against Southampton on Tuesday.

Hernandez, 36, was Leeds’ talisman as they won the Championship title, scoring what proved to be their promotion-clinching goal in a 1-0 win at former club Swansea. He won the club’s player of the year award for a third year in a row but, after an injury-hit campaign is expected to return to Spain following five years with Leeds.

“Both players have had a huge impact at Elland Road and will go down in history, for being part of the group which got Leeds United back to the Premier League after a 16-year absence,” Leeds added.

“Their loyalty, dedication and enthusiasm both on and off the pitch is unquestionable, they are model professionals and extremely popular in the dressing room.

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“Both Gaetano and Pablo will always have places in history at Leeds United, moments supporters will cherish forever and will always be welcome back at Elland Road.

“We’d like to wish both players all the very best for the future and we’re sure supporters will give both of them a worthy send-off at Sunday’s final match of the season against West Bromwich Albion.”