Pontus Jansson was a talisman for Leeds United last season, signing on loan from Torino and being a part of a rock-solid central defensive core with Kyle Bartley at the Elland Road club.
His arrival saw Leeds United take just 11 games to climb out of the relegation places and into the top six and the promotion play-off places. The Whites stayed in the play-offs for 142 games, and 26 games before a 1-0 home loss to Wolves sealed a drop to 7th from which they never recovered.
Fans quickly warmed to his dominating defending, his displays alongside Swansea loanee Kyle Bartley helping to solidify what used to be a jelly-like Leeds United central defensive pairing. Jansson and Bartley became the calming and soothing salve to the rashes caused on many Leeds United fans by pairings involving Jason Pearce, Giuseppe Bellusci and Sol Bamba.
Jansson put himself about, his slide tackles showing strength, determination and timing. T-shirts were printed bearing his likeness as the ‘Janssonator’, a phrase was coined for hard tackling – ‘to be Janssoned’ and his fist-pumping finales to wins really helped to lift the crowds.
Jansson is back in Sweden at the moment, training with former side Malmö to keep his fitness up ahead of Sweden’s clash with France next week. He also seems to be enjoying his time back home ahead of a packed summer that also includes marriage plans.
— Pontus Jansson (@PJansson5) June 3, 2017
Now this isn’t a stag-do, it is a group selfie with Malmö and 34-cap Sweden striker Markus Rosenberg…and friends. The occasion was Malmo’s away game yesterday, a game won by Jansson’s former side via a 2-1 scoreline.
Jansson said of the occasion, in Swedish publication Sydsvenskan, that “it felt fantastic to be part of it [the Malmö support]again.” Not only was the Leeds United defender happy to be a part of the support, he was an active part of whipping up the Malmö followers, as the following tweet demonstrates.
— MFF Support (@mffsupport1910) June 3, 2017
The Swedish in the tweet says: ‘@PJansson5 whips off [sic]the atmosphere! Against three points’. Speaking further in the Sydsvenskan article, Jansson also stated that: “It was an incredible feeling to be with my friends and [to]go to the game again.”
Leeds United fans, chomping at the bit for the name of their new manager to be revealed, will also be looking forward to the release of the fixtures for the 2017/18 Sky Bet Championship campaign. There will also be one-eyed glances cast to the transfer market to see who will be brought in to hopefully sustain a promotion drive next season.
Whoever does come in, Leeds fans will also be looking forward to the return of Jansson to Elland Road, where hopefully the hub of an equally strong defence will be built around the impressive Swede.