Leeds United’s Pontus Jansson has been voted by you as the 12th best player in the EFL.
Over the last month, we have been gathering votes from you to find the best managers and players in the EFL. And after counting the votes, we have discovered you think that Jansson is the 12th best player in the Football League.
One thing that summed up previous iterations of Leeds United defensive efforts over previous seasons was ‘shakey’. At times it was beyond that, defying any kind of logical description. All that Leeds fans were asking for was a half-decent, non-porous defence.
When it was announced that Leeds were bringing in an international defender from Italian football, Whites fans feared that worst. Never in their wildest dreams did they realistically expect that they’d land anyone like Pontus Jansson.
Jansson’s arrival coincided with the home game against Huddersfield, a game that Leeds ended up losing 1-0 and ending in the relegation places. From then on in, Jansson began to show that commitment and esprit du corps that the terraces had been longing for. A strong central defensive partnership was being forged with partner, and fellow loanee, Kyle Bartley.
From defeat in his first game, it took Leeds United just 11 games to go from third bottom and into the top six. At the heart of this improvement was Pontus Jansson, his blocks, defensive interceptions and robust tackling drawing plaudits form many a neutral observer. Leeds United stayed in the play-offs for 26 games, only tumbling out as the season drew to a close with just three games left.
It was also these observations that led to recognition in both the EFL Team of the Season and a special TOTS card from EA Sports for their popular FIFA football game. It also led to Leeds United coming to an agreement with Jansson’s parent club Torino that has seen his loan become a permanent transfer to West Yorkshire – a redemption fee of around £3.5 million (€4 million) being the agreed transfer sum.
Next season Leeds United fans will be hoping that 6ft 5in Swedish international will have a similar effect at the heart of the Leeds United defence, with hopefully Kyle Bartley back as his sidekick.