COMMENT By Richard Parks
Cometh the hour, cometh the man.
Leeds United have had their faith in rookie left-back Tom Pearce repaid after he was fast-tracked into the senior side as a replacement for undisputed suspension king Gaetano Berardi.
Now, Pearce is to be rewarded with a new contract as club chiefs, led by contract and transfer negotiator Victor Orta, begin making preparations in earnest ahead of next season.
Manager Paul Heckingbottom explained at his media conference on Thursday morning that the 20-year-old is in line for an extension after breaking into the first team in recent weeks.
Heckingbottom’s revelation was reported by Yorkshire Evening Post correspondent Phil Hay on his personal Twitter account.
Tom Pearce out of contract this summer. Heckingbottom indicated that he’s being offered a new deal. Nothing signed yet. #lufc
— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) April 26, 2018
Leeds academy product Pearce, 20, has made three senior appearances after being fast-tracked following Berardi’s suspension and long-term injuries to senior full-backs Luke Ayling and Laurens De Bock.
Pearce made his Whites bow last month, and delivered an accomplished display despite Leeds falling to a 2-1 loss to Sheffield Wednesday.
The rookie has subsequently started the last two matches and looked comfortable in both, scoring his first senior goal in the win against Barnsley last weekend.
A natural left footer who is mobile, energetic and composed in possession, many Leeds fans couldn’t believe he hadn’t been promoted earlier given so many iffy displays from De Bock, Berardi and Ayling this season.
There are few things supporters like more than academy products shining in the senior side and supporters will be over the moon that the landmark contract extension for Pablo Hernandez is likely to be followed by a new deal for one of their own.
Director of football Orta is going into sign-up overdrive and he is making all the right moves so far.