Leeds must hand Tom Pearce new contract

A general view of Elland Road Stadium prior to the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Brighton & Hove Albion at Elland Road on October 17, 2015 in Leeds, England.

Leeds United starlet Tom Pearce is making a major impression with the Whites' under-23s.

A general view of Elland Road Stadium prior to the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Brighton & Hove Albion at Elland Road on October 17, 2015 in Leeds, England.

In some ways, since Leeds put so much emphasis on trying to bolster their youth ranks, it has become even more difficult to stand out with a much larger group trying to impress in the under-18s and under-23s at Thorp Arch.

There are however, a number of starlets now pushing closer to the periphery of the first-team, and one of those players is Tom Pearce, the left-sided prospect who recently made the bench for Leeds' trip to Hull City and the home game against Cardiff City.

A general view of fans arriving at Elland Road Stadium prior to kick off in the Sky Bet Championship League match between Leeds United and Bolton Wanderers, at Elland Road Stadium on March...

Pearce is making a real impression for Carlos Corberan's side this term and would have certainly caught the eye when he scored a brilliant solo goal in the 5-1 win over Nottingham Forest towards the end of last week.

Nevertheless, it appears that there may be a sense of uncertainty regarding the 19-year-old's future, with Transfermarkt showing that he is out of contract at Elland Road at the end of the current campaign.

A general view of Elland Road prior to The Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Leeds United and Rotherham United at Elland Road on January 9, 2016 in Leeds, England.

Given his potential, it would be a huge shock if Leeds decided that they were not willing to hand the teenager a new contract, but perhaps it would be wise for the club to act swiftly as he is showing signs that suggest that he deserves a first-team chance in the near future.

Leeds are not blessed with genuine options at left-back - Gaetano Berardi has done well in the role previously, but Laurens De Bock's arrival would have been a relief to many supporters - so handing Pearce a new deal and pushing him towards the first-team should certainly be on the agenda right now.

He proved with his goal and several of his performances that he is also just as capable of playing further forward, and that may be beneficial as the squad continues to get stretched as the season starts to reach the business end. 

Pearce is showing glimpses of quality that suggest that he should be the next academy starlet to enjoy a breakout run in the first-team. And while that will be no secret to the Leeds hierarchy, they should arguably take no risks and swiftly make sure that he is tied down to the club for a number of years.

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