Leeds United sold the youngster this past summer, but injury and Everton links means it’s been a tough year.

It’s been a very difficult year for ex-Leeds United defender Tom Pearce.

In October of 2018, The Sun [28/10, p59] reported that Everton and Bournemouth were readying January moves for the promising left-back.

That never materialised and Leeds wound up loaning him to League One side Scunthorpe United earlier this year.

United sold their 21-year-old talent to Wigan Athletic on transfer deadline day in August but injury means that he hasn’t played a single minute for the Latics in any competition as of yet.

Pearce has been sidelined for the best part of three months with a stress fracture in his back, but he wrote on Twitter last week that he was very close to regaining full fitness.

That’ll be a big boost in an otherwise disappointing 12 months for the kid.

It must be disheartening to go from being linked to Everton – his first club – to League One, and then to be sold by Leeds, where you were once considered one of the most exciting young players coming through.

The good news is that Pearce – who made his Whites debut under Paul Heckingbottom 18 months ago – is a very fine left-back and with a bit more luck on the injury front, he has the talent and youth to appeal to the Toffees again at some point in the future.

Pearce, who spent five years in the club’s Thorp Arch academy, made seven Championship appearances for the Elland Road side.

In other news, 'Incredibly confident’ Liverpool player’s response when asked about joining Real Madrid