Tom Pearce appears to have dropped right down the pecking order this season.
Towards the end of last year, Pearce was a key part of Paul Heckingbottom’s squad. And Leeds made it their priority to tie him down to a new deal for this season.
But under Marcelo Bielsa, Pearce has found game time hard to come by.
Barry Douglas has taken his starting spot at left-back but with an injury to the former Wolves man keeping him out of the Brentford clash, Pearce had a chance.
However, Bielsa opted to go for Stuart Dallas at left-back and then moved Ezgjan Alioski there instead.
With the Argentine preferring two wingers to Pearce, is this a worrying omen?
Pearce broke into the team towards the end of the season and immediately impressed.
In his five games with the club, the 20-year-old looked at home, tearing up and down the left flank.
The former Everton youngster even netting his first professional goal and Leeds fans were very excited about him.
This season, Pearce has been relegated to a substitute spot. The England under-21’s only two matches for the Whites this season have come in the EFL Cup.
And given that Alioski performed well at left-back, Pearce now looks to be fourth choice at best under Bielsa.
What should he do?
I think the best short-term move for Pearce’s career would be a loan move in January.
If Bielsa sees Douglas as his first-choice left-back, then Pearce needs to move away for game time.
Given that Alioski, Dallas and Gaetano Berardi can also play there, it is a low risk move for Leeds.
And it will help Pearce’s long-term development as he still has a big role to play in the future.