A perfect start to the season ended in a nightmare for Leeds United when they got knocked out from the playoffs by Derby County. But the club have successfully retained Marcelo Bielsa for one more season who is now set to give it another try after years of heartbreak at Elland Road.
The Whites, however, are sweating over the future of an array of key names amid interest from the top-flight outfits. Pontus Jansson is the latest inclusion to the list having been monitored by Benfica, according to the CalcioMercato.
The Swedish centre-half has been the fans’ favourite for his towering and resilient display at the back over the past three campaigns. But the failure to regain a place in the Premier League has made him a transfer target of the Portuguese heavyweights despite the player reaffirming his commitment to Leeds.
“I’ve always said that taking the step up to the Premier League is my dream and I want to do it with Leeds. It is up to Leeds if there is an interest in negotiating. Until then I am 110 per cent, Leeds. I’ll be there until the day they don’t want me. I’ll need a holiday and some beer, and then I’ll be back to England to start again.”
Stated the 28-year-old while being speaking to Swedish outlet Aftonbladet.
The former Torino centre-back enjoyed an impressive loan stint at West Yorkshire before his transfer was made permanent (for a fee of around £3.5m as reported by the Express) by the club. Jansson has made 120 appearances so far across all competitions and wants to have many more beyond this summer.
However, the unpredictability of the transfer window would keep the supporters anxious and worried throughout the next couple of months. He is arguably the best central defensive option of the current Leeds United squad and should also be appraised as one of the best in the business in the Championship circuit.
Skipper Liam Cooper and the veteran Gaetano Berardi have been erroneous in crunch time as their mistakes proved decisive in Leeds’ failure to secure a long-pending promotion. It is to be seen whether the gaffer reconstructs his backline with further reinforcements, but he must make sure of the staying of Jansson who would be key next season in their attempt to secure a top-flight return yet again.
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