Could Tom Pearce be surprise centre-back option for Leeds?

Lewis Grabban of Aston Villa is tackled by Tom Pearce of Leeds United during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Leeds United at Villa Park on April 13, 2018 in...

Tom Pearce got the chance to impress at the heart of Leeds United's defence during their latest under-23 game.

Lewis Grabban of Aston Villa is tackled by Tom Pearce of Leeds United during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Leeds United at Villa Park on April 13, 2018 in...

With Barry Douglas proving to be the one summer signing so far to have broken into Leeds' strongest side, Tom Pearce has had to bide his time waiting for chances under Marcelo Bielsa.

Pearce was one of the success stories to emerge from Paul Heckingbottom's tenure, but signing Douglas in the summer was inspired with the left-back taking little time to adapt to his new surroundings at Elland Road.

His form suggests that it could be a potentially-frustrating campaign for Pearce. But perhaps after Leeds' under-23 side's latest game, the academy graduate could find that Douglas is not the only first-team star that he is putting some pressure on.

 

The 2-2 draw with Sheffield Wednesday at Thorp Arch on Monday - which was watched by Bielsa - saw Pearce feature at centre-back along with Aapo Halme. 

Given Halme's infamous start to life with Leeds and Pearce's lack of experience in the role, many may have expected the strong Owls side to take advantage of the situation and storm to a win. But Pearce, who was wearing the captain's armband, was exceptional for Carlos Corberan's men.

He may not be making the likes of Pontus Jansson and Liam Cooper look over their shoulders just yet, but there is no reason why Bielsa cannot consider Pearce to be someone who could prove to be a potential centre-back option if required in future, especially if he gets more chances in the role for the under-23s.

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa arrives for the Sky Bet Championship match between Swansea City and Leeds United at the Liberty Stadium on August 21, 2018 in Swansea, Wales.

Leeds' options at the back are currently stretched with Gaetano Berardi injured, so having another youngster who brings plenty of versatility should be considered a massive boost, even if picking Pearce at centre-back would be far from ideal at the moment. 

It remains to be seen if Pearce gets anymore chances to shine at the heart of the under-23 defence, but based on his performance on Monday, it could be suggested that Leeds may have stumbled upon an idea that could be worth keeping faith with in the coming months. 

General views of Elland Road before the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Aston Villa at Elland Road on December 03, 2016 in Leeds, England.

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