Time to return to Goodison Park for Tom Pearce as Baines edges towards retirement

Everton are supposedly chasing the signature of a player they let go as a youth, with The Sun on Sunday, as reported by HITC, suggesting Tom Pearce is a Toffees target.

What’s the word?

Tom Pearce was let go by Everton at the age of 16, having been a part of the club’s youth set up for 11 years.

Leeds United came to the left-back’s rescue and brought the teenager into their academy, where he remained for a further four years until being handed a first team debut in March 2018 when Paul Heckingbottom called on the then 19-year-old to start against Sheffield Wednesday.

Leeds fans had yearned for the full back to be handed a debut and cheered when the lad from Ormskirk was first involved in the action, but minutes under new boss Marcelo Biesla have been hard to come by after the club signed Barry Douglas.

Just two substitute appearances totalling 72 minutes is all the England U21 defender has played in the Championship but his childhood club remain interested in a potential return after reports first emerged in The Sun on Sunday, via HITC, as early as May 13th.

The latest update claims Leeds and Bournemouth are monitoring the defender’s situation closely after he agreed to a new contract at the start of the campaign.

Why sign another left-back?

Like Leeds, Everton acquired a new left-back of their own in the summer when Lucas Digne arrived on Merseyside from Barcelona in a move costing Marco Silva £18million.

Pearce would thus have to play a backup role to the 25-year-old Frenchman, but with no further options beyond the ageing legs of Leighton Baines, now 33, a potential return makes sense for the club in a bid to find the veteran defender’s eventual successor.

Convincing the 20-year-old that a return is worthwhile would be where this move gets tricky, but with Biesla currently showing limited faith in Pearce, the defender may look for game-time elsewhere.

Everton’s continued interest should show Pearce the club that once axed him values what he has been able to add to his game at Leeds and sees the international youth defender as part of their future.