Forget Jansson: Leeds priority must be to sign up this senior figure before it's too late
By Editor Wayne Veysey
The statistics are eloquent enough. Fourth in the Championship table. Five wins from six league matches. Nine victories out of 13 in the division.
Throw in a run to the League Cup quarter-finals that only ended with defeat at the home of mighty Liverpool and it is easy to understand why the reputation of Garry Monk is growing by the week.
The 37-year-old has inspired a transformation at Elland Road on what is a shoestring budget compared to the former Premier League big guns who dropped down to the second tier this season.
Two of those sides have already been beaten by Leeds this season, with the scalp of Norwich supplemented by the impressive one of Aston Villa at the weekend.
Yet, one “daft anomaly”, as the Yorkshire Evening Post so succinctly put it, is that Monk is almost halfway through a one-year contract, while Steve Bruce recently scribbled his signature on a lucrative five-year contract.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
The experienced Villa boss, smarting from his first defeat in eight matches at his new club, can point to a glittering track record of four promotions at three different clubs.
Monk can’t match that. He is too young and only early into what is his second job. But his star is on the rise and Leeds must act quickly to tie down one of English football’s brightest and most impressive emerging managers.
The Elland Road boss has overseen an impressive revival after fine recruitment work in the summer, particularly in the notoriously difficult loan market.
Gems such as Pontus Jansson, Kyle Bartley, Pablo Hernandez and Hadi Sacko have been enticed to the Championship. A playing style has been implemented that has made Leeds a side that no-one wants to play against.
Finally, fans are starting to dream. Even protests against the notorious owner Massimo Cellino have been put on hold.
While it is key that the loan quartet are tie down to permanent contracts – Jansson is one that cannot be allowed to get away – Leeds’ priority must be to sign up the senior figure who has allowed the revival to take place.
Like Bruce, Monk should be handed a long-term deal and given the opportunity to really make his mark at one of English football’s grandest clubs.
The doomsday scenario is Leeds prevaricate and another club offers Monk a deal he cannot refuse.
In other Leeds news, why this is the final nail in the coffin for club’s midfielder.