Leeds fans woke up to some terrible news today as The Sun on Sunday reported that Premier League side Everton were keen on a reunion for defender Tom Pearce.
The newspaper (print edition, May 13, p63) claimed that Everton, who released Tom Pearce four years ago, want to re-sign him and see him as back-up for Leighton Baines.
Pearce broke into the Leeds first team this season where he has impressed across five games at the tail-end of the season.
He got his first goal in the 2-1 win against Barnsley and became an instant hit with the fans after his attitude and performances for the senior side.
It would be a terrible mistake if he was allowed to leave without a fight.
With his contract set to expire in the summer, fans have been clamouring for the club to sign him up on a new deal and now it looks like they might have let Everton sneak in and steal him after all their hard work.
This would represent a colossal piece of mis-management from Leeds, who unleashed him into the first team in the knowledge that he could walk in the summer if he proved a hit and attracted the big hitters.
If he’s impressive enough to move up to the first-team, why not give him a fresh deal before he has the chance to explode in a highly visible set of games?
Leeds would be due compensation for the player but that’s nothing and wouldn’t let them replace Pearce with a player of the same calibre.
Paul Heckingbottom, Victor Orta and Andrea Radrizzani are all culpable, but if Pearce leaves it would have to go down as the worst error in Radrizzani’s reign.
It’s one step forwards and at least five back if the Everton deal goes through, but if you were Pearce what would you do?
The Sun on Sunday claims that he’d have more chance of first-team football at Leeds, but playing back-up to Leighton Baines for Everton, who are set to get a new manager in the summer and invest in new players will be a tempting prospect.
The only saving grace is that with the Scottish Sun reporting that Everton are reportedly set to sack Allardyce in days, they might have bigger things on their mids over the next few weeks.
And that might give Leeds time to scramble together a new deal that suits Pearce – something they should have done months ago.