Attacker must leave in January: Three things we learned about Leeds in draw v Aston Villa
By Editor Wayne Veysey
Football Insider analyses three talking points from Leeds’ 1-1 Championship draw against Aston Villa on Thursday night.
Jansson must be tied down
As if we didn’t already know, Pontus Jansson is one of the outstanding centre-backs in the Championship. In fact, he is probably one of the best players in the league in all positions. The Sweden international demonstrated his calibre with a superb performance against an improving Villa side. He blocked, intercepted and defended as if his life depended on it, and then went up the other end of the pitch to break the deadlock with a well placed header direct from a corner. For good measure, the 25-year-old then slammed a thunderous volley against the crossbar. Little wonder he is the darling of the fans. A deal is in place for Leeds to convert Jansson’s loan into a permanent transfer. The club must make every effort to tie him down as swiftly as possible.
Writing on the wall for Grimes
If the writing wasn’t already on the wall for Matt Grimes, it is now. The midfielder was ignored when Garry Monk was losing midfielders left, right and centre. And now that there are more options available, the on-loan Swansea player can’t get a look-in. For the second consecutive match, Grimes was not even named in the matchday 18, even though Eunan O’Kane was still sidelined. With Pablo Hernandez back, the chances of Grimes getting a chance any time soon are virtually non-existent. Garry Monk doesn’t appear to rate Grimes as a central midfielder or in a No10 role. The attacking midfielder, whose loan runs until next summer, might be well advised to bang on his manager’s door and ask for the deal to be cut short in January and allow him to find a new club.
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Leeds are mighty tough opposition
After the high of the Boxing Day hammering of Preston, this was more stodgy fare from Leeds. Monk set his team up to be stubborn and difficult to play against, and his players showed once again how tough an opponent they have become. Monk’s side make up for what they lack in fluency and individual star quality with their resilience and ability to withstand pressure before breaking down the opposition. Monk has assembled a team to be reckoned with, and a playing style that works in the battleground of the Championship.