Reports have surfaced linking West Ham United with Leeds United defender, Pontus Jansson. The Swiss international has appeared in 38 games for the Whites this season and has scored 3. Some would even regard him as one of the best defenders in the EFL Championship.
Jansson arrived at Elland Road in the summer of 2016 after doing remarkably well on his loan spell in the previous season. He was signed up by Serie A outfit, Torino on a free transfer after the 27-year-old ended his ties with Malmo FF. Jansson was a big name in the Swedish club and had made over 100 appearances for the club.
His time in Italy was not the most illustrious and Leeds gave him the perfect escape. Now, he is the commander of the Peacocks backline and has 14 caps for the Sweden national team. The switch to England’s top flight but will Leeds allow him to leave?
Jansson is tied to the Championship outfit until the summer of 2022. Leeds have long given up their promotion hopes and are just seeing out the remainder of the season, deemed to finish somewhere in the middle of the points table.
The 2017/18 campaign showed great promise during its early days under Thomas Christiansen. But after Boxing Day, a domino effect took hold of Elland Road and the club has been on the downward trajectory ever since. Even under Paul Heckingbottom, things have failed to improve much and Andrea Radrizzani might already be looking into competent replacement ahead of the 2018/19 season.
In that plan, summer additions are also being lined for offensive bolstering. But strengthening one end and consecutively weakening the other is not within the constructs of that plan. Jansson’s price might be significantly high and that is bound to drive out potential suitors, including West Ham.
The Hammers are undergoing a gruelling battle of relegation survival themselves and are facing hostility from their own fan base. David Moyes’ neck is on the line and the final 6 games of the season will probably dictate his fate at London Stadium.
The backline has been one of their worst enemies this season, conceding 58 in 32 game weeks which is just better than Watford and Stoke City in the entire Premier League. James Collins is 34 now and will be out of a contract following this season. Declan Rice is already proving to be a solid defensive option and the backline will be strengthened if the services of Pontus Jansson are acquired.