Saturday’s game against Blackburn may have been a tough one for Tom Pearce. With Barry Douglas injured and Stuart Dallas struggling against Brentford, Pearce starting at Ewood Park seemed to make sense.
Unfortunately for Pearce, Marcelo Bielsa had other ideas and kept Dallas in. The Northern Irishman initially struggled before growing into the game.
Bielsa’s admirable loyalty to his players hints that Dallas could keep his place against Ipswich on Wednesday. But the time appears to be right to hand Pearce a chance if Douglas remains unavailable.
Dallas appears to have struggled against Brentford’s and Blackburn’s wingers. They have managed to expose his preference to get down the line and contribute in attack.
Pearce showed last season that he can also make an impact in the final third, but he is likely to be more disciplined defensively.
Of course, Luke Ayling’s return from suspension could allow Bielsa to deploy Gaetano Berardi on the left.
But, given how much Leeds have struggled since not having a natural left-back in the role, handing Pearce a chance could be the smartest move at Elland Road.
And having had to bide his time following Douglas’ arrival, perhaps Leeds will get a performance from Pearce that puts a bit of pressure on the summer signing ahead of his return.