Leeds 25-year-old facing fight over shock early exit after major revelation at Elland Road
While there has been little to cheer at Leeds United this season, the emergence of a handful of young stars has been something to celebrate.
The Whites have endured a miserable campaign and will be counting down the days until the end of the season, when they can regroup, analyse what went so horribly wrong and plan for the summer in a bid to improve when they new season kicks off.
One area that will be looked at is which young talents will be able to pose a threat to those in the first team and be either strong back up options or even competing for a role in the starting XI.
Goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell is certainly among those names falling in the latter category, while academy graduate Tom Pearce is another set to fight it out with more senior names in a bid to keep the left back spot his own.
The 20-year-old defender has made three appearances this season, including playing the full 90 minutes of the win against Barnsley, a match in which he netted his first ever senior goal with a well drilled strike after a bursting run through the midfield.
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Having established himself as a major revelation at the club, it bodes well for the future of the Whites – but not so much for January signing Laurens De Bock.
The 25-year-old, signed from Club Brugge in the winter window, has been a massive flop and has managed just seven appearances for the club, having suffered a hamstring injury which has kept him out since.
He did not sign for Leeds to play second fiddle but it appears that may well be the case if Pearce keeps up his fine performances, while there is no certainty Leeds will not look for another full back in the summer – and De Bock’s exit could help fund it in terms of both transfer fee and wages.
An early exit might be a shock, considering he has a contract until 2022, but he already appears to be facing a fight against leaving this summer – a battle he seems to be losing.
In other Leeds United team news, the club must ignore the fume of the fans and stick by an opinion-dividing star.