Could Leeds United be looking for a new captain with Jason Pearce seemingly no longer a first-choice defender under Neil Redfearn?
Leeds United captain Jason Pearce’s position in the starting line-up is under threat with manager Neil Redfearn seemingly preferring Liam Cooper and Giuseppe Bellusci when he has a full quota to choose from.
The latter two defenders started Leeds’ match against Derby County recently and shone as the Whites kept the Championship leaders at bay to record a brilliant 2-0 victory.
Redfearn later revealed that he wanted to play a right-footed player alongside a left-footed one, with Pearce the man to miss out.
A few days after that famous victory the Leeds skipper turned out for the club’s reserves against Nottingham Forest, but he was back in the first-team when an injury to Bellusci forced a rethink from the boss for the trip to Ipswich Town.
But with the Italian eyeing a return against Fulham on Saturday, and he and Cooper appearing to be Redfearn’s first-choice pairing, could Pearce’s position as captain also be under threat? After all, a skipper should be playing regularly.
Here we take a look at three potential candidates to become the next Leeds captain if Pearce continues to be overlooked.
The most likely candidate to take over the role permanently if Pearce is relieved of his duties, Stephen Warnock has already captained the side on three occasions this season.
The 32-year-old left-back’s experience is such that he would bring plenty to the role and he recently spoke of his importance in a side full of young players. He has also been one of Leeds’ standout stars this season.
If Redfearn wanted to hand the role to another central defender, Bellusci is the most likely candidate.
At 25 he has plenty of experience, playing 106 times for former club Catania and captaining them on occasions. Given he is two years Cooper’s senior, he is more likely to get the nod if there is a decision to be made.
Italian striker Mirco Antenucci has been brilliant since he arrived in the summer, scoring eight goals in his first 17 games.
At 30 he is the second-most senior player in Leeds' regular starting line-up after Warnock and given that Rudy Austin previously stepped down from the position Antenucci could be the only viable alternative to Bellusci and Warnock.