Must stay at Leeds: Three reasons why Jansson should avoid reported Southampton move
By Harvey Byrne
Southampton are reportedly preparing a summer swoop for Leeds defender Pontus Jansson.
The Sky Sports website reported via it’s transfer centre blog (Wednesday, 12.25pm) that the Saints were eyeing moves for both Jansson and Swansea playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson.
Now, Sigurdsson would very much be a step in the right direction for the south coast club, but Jansson may find that the grass is not greener at a higher level where he doesn’t hold the same relationship with the fans as he does the Whites support.
Here, Football Insider have found three reasons why the 26-year-old should avoid the Saints and remain at Leeds:
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Southampton manager Claude Puel has continued the tradition at the club of playing from the back.
Current centre-backs Virgil van Dijk, Jack Stephens and Maya Yoshida have all mastered the skill as ball playing defenders.
However, Jansson is very much of the old fashioned centre-back mould and his known more for putting the ball up the pitch for Chris Wood rather than distributing it to a close teammate.
Frenchman Puel has remained stubborn with his selections and even left out proven goal scorer Charlie Austin for much of the start of the campaign because he didn’t fit his methods and the same fate could fall upon Jansson.
For all of Jansson’s strengths there is certainly a worry about his lack of discipline after the defender has chalked up 14 yellow cards in 33 appearances.
His bookings in the Championship do not read well for the defender and he is likely to be further exposed at a higher level, where he will compete with faster and smarter players.
Now, the St. Mary’s crowd are unlikely to be too happy if he continually gets booked and while Leeds fans can turn a blind eye to it due to the defenders strengths, his talents may not outweigh his limitations as much at Premier League level.
Comparison to Van Dijk
Southampton already have a top class centre-back in Van Dijk and while it is near impossible the club will sign someone of his ability anyone who does join will continuously be compared to the Holland international.
This means that a middle-aged defender joining from a Championship club like Jansson could come under severe scrutiny if he does not immediately hit the ground running.
It is clear that the centre-back is very much a favourite with the Leeds fan base, but he may not be awarded with the same support at Southampton due to not being a standout player and Jansson may be better off staying at a club that loves him after being offloaded by Torino rather than risking it elsewhere at this late stage of his career.
In other Leeds transfer news, Garry Monk has hailed the scouting mission that secured £3.5million signing.