Tom Pearce may no longer be the most exciting young left-back at Leeds United.
The 20-year-old burst onto the first-team stage under Paul Heckingbotton in the final months of last season, even scoring a long-range strike against local rivals Barnsley, but he’s struggled to kick on under Marcelo Bielsa.
Pearce has made just two Championship appearances all season under the Argentine tactician – and there’s an argument to be made that he has now been overtaken by the 18-year-old Leif Davis.
The teenager has been earning rave reviews since joining from Morecambe in the summer and has been included on the bench for games against West Brom, Reading and Bristol City.
And with Davis tipped for big things at Elland Road, this should give Pearce’s suitors the encouragement to renew their interest with the January transfer window just weeks away.
According to The Sun (28 October, page 59), Everton are circling with Pearce well behind Barry Douglas in the pecking order at Leeds, having previously expressed an interest in the youngster in the summer. Interestingly, Pearce started his career with Everton before being released in 2014.
And with Leighton Baines heading into his final few months at Goodison Park, Pearce could be seen as a long-term successor and an exciting back-up for Lucas Digne. Now, the sudden emergence of Leif Davis should only boost Everton’s hopes of rectifying the mistake they made four years ago.
But would Everton still want a player who's struggling for starts at a Championship club? Well, Everton's director of football Marcel Brands is renowned for his ability to spot young talents like Pearce, having made his name by signing the likes of Hirving Lozano, Gini Wijnaldum and Dries Mertens before they became household names.
And Pearce, with his attack minded style and impressive crossing ability, seems a perfect fit for a Marco Silva system that gives the full-backs a lot of creative licence going forward.