Leeds United defender Tom Pearce left out of England under-20s squad

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Tom Pearce has been left out of England’s Under-20 squad after suffering an injury last week.

The Leeds United left-back is nursing a bruised foot and was absent from the group named by England coach Paul Simpson for a clash with Germany in Colchester next Monday.

Leeds United defender Tom Pearce.

Leeds United defender Tom Pearce.

Pearce broke into the Under-20 set-up earlier this year after making his senior debut for Leeds and appeared at the Toulon Tournament during the summer but he has featured only briefly for United under head coach Marcelo Bielsa and missed Saturday’s trip to West Bromwich Albion.

Bielsa left him out after the 20-year-old defender suffered minor damage to a metatarsal in training. Pearce was due to resume work with Bielsa’s first-team squad during the international break and should return to contention for the club’s next game at home to Bristol City on November 24.

Academy goalkeeper Will Huffer, however, was included in Simpson’s squad and has travelled to link up with the Under-20s at St George’s Park.

Pearce forced his way into intentional contention with a series of convincing first-team outings under former Leeds boss Paul Heckingbottom last season.

United, who had previously planned to release him when his old contract expired in June, moved to engage him in negotiations at the last minute and succeeded in agreeing a new three-year deal.

Crystal Palace and Bournemouth had both shown a firm interest in a player who joined Leeds after his release by Everton at the age of 16.

Bielsa, however, has not started Pearce in a Championship match and looked instead to Stuart Dallas, Gjanni Alioski and Gaetano Berardi to cover at left-back in the absence of injured first-choice Barry Douglas last month.

While Pearce missed Saturday’s 4-1 defeat at West Brom, injuries cleared the way for Under-23s defender Leif Davis - an 18-year-old signed from Morecambe in July - to take a seat on the bench for the first time.

Davis is predominantly a left-back but has played in the centre of defence for Leeds’ development squad and he was taken to The Hawthorns as cover with Pearce, Berardi and Luke Ayling all on the sidelines.