Leeds United could have a battle on their hands this summer in keeping their star defender Tom Pearce at the club. The 20-year-old star is currently on international duty. He is turning up for the U-21 squad of the Three Lions in the Toulon Tournament.
He made his first debut at left back this summer appearing as a substitute for Aidy Boothroyd in the 68th minute in the 2-1 win against China in Aubagne. The player will now play a part in the entire tournament and only come back to Leeds in June.
It was reported that prior to him leaving for international duty, he was on the verge of signing a deal with Leeds United. The player did not put pen to paper but it was believed that Heckingbottom is interested to convince him in extending his stay at Elland Road.
However, as nothing concrete was signed, the player is still a subject of interest from multiple clubs in England. It is believed that English Premier League duo Everton and Bournemouth are reportedly interested in the 20 year old.
Although talented, the young defender has found it difficult to break into the first team. He has played only on five occasions this season and has had to deal with most of his time in the second team or on the bench.
The player will know that game time in this part of his career will be crucial and he cannot simply afford to waste another season on the benches. The most important development phase of a player is in his early twenties and Pearce needs to get as much game time as possible under his belt.
Hence, the player should move to a club or stay at one where he can be guaranteed game time. At Everton, the Merseysiders are clearly big spenders in the market and will definitely bring in world-class talent in defence after a poor season. They are unlikely to field a 20-year-old as a first team starter if they aspire to push for Europe.
Then there is Bournemouth who are also in the English Premier League. They will also need better and more developed first-team stars and will be unable to give Pearce the time he needs. As no other team has come in with an assurance of a first-team spot for Pearce as of now, Leeds United remain the best hope for him to develop and the 20-year-old should opt against a move out of Elland Road and in favour of an extension.