Is Leeds' Tom Pearce declining?

Tom Pearce of Leeds United and Tom Barkhuizen of Preston North End compete for the ball during the Carabao Cup Second Round match between Leeds United and Preston North End at Elland Road...

Leeds United's Tom Pearce has had quite a mixed last 12 months.

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 Birmingham, England.

It hasn't been a great last 12 months for Leeds United's Tom Pearce.

Tomorrow represents the one-year anniversary of his senior debut for Leeds, and he did have an excellent end to the 2017-18 campaign under Paul Heckingbottom.

This resulted in speculation about a switch to Everton last summer [The Sun on Sunday, print edition, page 63, May 13, 2018], though United wound up hanging on to him.

But since then, it's been rather downhill for the promising defender.

 

The 20-year-old only made two Championship appearances during the first part of the campaign - both off the substitutes bench, with Barry Douglas and later Ezgjan Alioski establishing themselves as Bielsa's favoured left-backs.

Leeds boss Bielsa then loaned him to Scunthorpe United in January.

He has gone from being a first-choice Whites defender with Premier League clubs reportedly hot on his heels, to being a League One player.

Pearce still has bags of potential, but he turns 21 next month and you get the feeling that this summer is huge for him.

It isn't quite make or break because he still has three years left on his contract in West Yorkshire, but the longer he goes without becoming Leeds' first-choice left-back again, the harder it'll be.

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 Birmingham, England.

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