By Wayne Veysey

13th Jan, 2021 | 10:46am

Exclusive: Championship clubs swoop for Wigan ace Tom Pearce

A number of Championship and League One clubs are eyeing moves for Wigan Athletic left-back Tom Pearce this month.

The 22-year-old has established himself as a key player at the DW Stadium this season following the departure of Antonee Robinson to Fulham in August.

A recruitment source has told Football Insider that a number of clubs from the second and third tier are interested in signing the full-back this month.

Struggling Wigan face another battle to keep hold of one of their best players after last summer’s fire sale.

Pearce made his professional debut for Leeds in March 2018 and scored his first senior goal a month later, a thunderbolt in a 2-1 win against Yorkshire rivals Barnsley.

The Ormskirk-born ace made 10 appearances for the Whites in total, and also turned out nine times for Scunthorpe United on loan.

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He can play as either a conventional full-back or a wing-back and has turned out 10 times for England at Under-20 and Under-21 level, his last outing for the Three Lions coming in April 2019.

Pearce played only a small role last season as Paul Cook’s side were relegated to League One.

His lack of game time in the 2019/20 campaign was due in part to being sidelined for three months with a back injury.

However, in the third-tier, Pearce has established himself as a first-team regular.

Wigan are struggling at the bottom of the table but Pearce has started 18 of their 20 league matches so far.

Across those appearances, he has registered five assists — his crossing would be an asset to any team Championship side.

With Wigan continuing to tread water financially, Latics fans will be concerned about losing one of their top talents to more economically robust second-tier outfits.

In other news, a fellow League One side have reached an agreement for their first January signing.