Leeds United are planning to offload a number of fringe players this summer, but Tom Pearce is determined to stay and fight for his place in the first team.
The 21-year-old only made two appearances for the club last season before moving on to Scunthorpe, where he made just nine appearances despite the team struggling and eventually getting relegated.
He faces a tough task if he is to play regularly at Elland road next season. Barry Douglas will be back fit soon and he is one of the best left-backs in the division, so if he stays fit it is hard to see Bielsa not picking him.
However, Pearce is a player with a lot of potential. He is currently away at the Toulon tournament with England u20s, so if he is given an opportunity by Bielsa he could impress, and that might be what he needs to start playing regularly.
Our writers give their thoughts on Pearce’s choice to stay at Leeds next season in order to break into the first-team.
“This is a bizarre one in my opinion.
“Pearce evidently isn’t rated very highly by Bielsa, having been loaned out last season, and I have absolutely no idea why they are keeping him at the club.
“Don’t get me wrong, he’s a useful player to have, but Leeds need better and more experienced options at left-back heading into next season.
“Bielsa can’t rely on youngsters again, that’s for sure.”
“Fair play to him.
“Leeds are a club looking up at the minute, so you can’t blame Pearce for wanting to try and make himself a part of it.
“Left back was something of a problem position for Leeds towards the end of the season with concerns around the likes of Ezgjan Alioski and Stuart Dallas, so it may not be too much of a stretch that Pearce may well get the chance to prove himself in the Leeds side next season.”
“It is definitely admirable and something Bielsa will respect.
“They are not exactly swamped for options in that role with Barry Douglas still carrying an injury and Alioski forced to play out of position.
“If he can show up in pre-season and dazzle his boss then it could be a very exciting season for him.”