By Alex Stevens
Pontus Jansson is so good that he is “walking all over the opposition”, according to Noel Whelan.
The former Leeds striker highlighted the arrival of the defender on loan from Torino as a key element in the team’s transformation over the last month.
Jansson delivered another colossal display on Saturday as Monk’s team beat Barnsley 2-1 to climb into the top half of the Championship table for the first time this season.
Garry Monk’s side secured their fifth victory in six matches, and their fourth from five league encounters.
Jansson has emerged as an integral member of Leeds’ team during their excellent recent run after leapfrogging Liam Cooper in the centre-back pecking order at Elland Road.
“There are good players at Leeds and there were good players here even when it was all going wrong in August. The fundamental difference now – aside from the very obvious changes like Pontus Jansson coming in and walking all over the opposition – is that the same players are playing in their actual positions,” Whelan wrote in his column in the Yorkshire Evening Post.
“The two centre-halves, Jansson and Kyle Bartley, have been outstanding since they came together and I love their attitude. They’re not bothered about playing football, they’re not bothered about bringing the ball out – which isn’t to suggest that they can’t do either.
“Their first thought is simply to defend like hell and it’s a long time since Leeds had a partnership like that at the back.”
The Swede played the full 90 minutes of the win over Barnsley after recovering from a hamstring problem sustained last week, and which had made him a doubt ahead of the match.
Barnsley are still ahead of Leeds in the table on goal difference but Monk’s side are now 11th after increasing their points haul in the campaign to 16.