Leeds Must Do Everything Within Their Powers To Hold On To Pontus Jansson
Swedish centre-back Pontus Jansson has been an absolute rock for Leeds United in what could yet turn out to be a promotion season at Elland Road.
Leeds will face the lottery of the play-offs at best and so the likelihood is that they’ll be playing Championship football once again next season. Should this be the case, Jansson may need a re-think on whether he wishes to exercise his right to a £3.5million permanent transfer in July once his year-long loan from Torino runs out.
Jansson, like a lot of other players, will be looking at a chance of being involved in the World Cup should Sweden qualify. With this in mind, Premier League football would push him higher up Janne Andersson’s list of possible players for the tournament in Russia.
So the risk of losing Jansson is very much real, but why should Leeds fight so hard to keep him?
1.6 tackles, 1.8 interceptions and more importantly 10.2 clearances per game show that he is one of the best centre-backs in this division. His height is a huge factor too; causing trouble at offensive set pieces being very much part of his game these days. His 3 league goals show there is an end product there too.
His 14 yellow cards for Leeds this season are negative on the face of it. One more would mean a 3-match suspension for the start of next term. Though they also show he is happy to put himself in the action a little bit. However, these figures seem unusual for him and should he manage to curtail the disciplinary issues next season he will improve further.
Jansson’s ability then is not in question, but Leeds’ need to keep him goes beyond that. The overall defensive picture could be pretty bleak if they are not careful. Full-back Charlie Taylor is a wanted man, as is find-of-the-season Liam Cooper. On top of this, Jansson’s regular central defensive partner Kyle Bartley is only on loan too and will be off to Swansea in the summer.
Should one or all of the aforementioned players leave, there is absolutely no guarantee that, as a Championship side, Leeds could bring in replacements of the same standard. This could hurt them badly and curtail what appeared to be Leeds’ imminent revival as a top tier club.
The very least they need next season is to have a fit, ready and permanently committed Pontus Jansson in their side.