By Derek Smithson
Seth Johnson has named powerhouse defender Pontus Jansson as Leeds United’s most vital player this season.
The 26-year-old enjoyed a brilliant loan spell at Elland Road during the last campaign and made the move permanent from Torino over the summer.
He became a popular figure with the Whites fans due to his no-nonsense defending and leadership qualities.
Jansson missed the first game of the new season through suspension, but the centre-backs’s return to the side has coincided with Leeds keeping four consecutive clean sheets in the Championship.
Ex-Leeds midfielder Johnson was asked who his former’s side most vital player is this season and the Sweden international was his emphatic response.
“Their new centre-back Pontus Jansson will be vital for the club,” Johnson told Bwin’s website. “I watched him play last year on loan and he was fantastic, he showed what he could do. He’s old school, no nonsense and is a leader – the fans have really taken to him.
“The experienced players are huge for the club. When I played it was Rio and Lucas Radebe who orchestrated the team and kept it’s disciplined, and he can be that type of player for them.”
Jansson formed a brilliant partnership alongside Kyle Bartley at centre-back last season, but he has returned to Swansea following the end of his loan.
However, the early stages of the campaign have seen him line up alongside Liam Cooper in the heart of defence and the pair have been formidable.
Thomas Christiansen’s side are third in the league table and their resolute back-line has played a key role so far.
Jansson is an experienced player that has 12 international caps for Sweden and also featured in both the Champions League and Europa League.
The centre-back has become a major success in English football and is set to play a big role if Leeds are to fulfil their aims of vying for promotion.
In other Leeds United news, Noel Whelan has claimed they must keep their 24-year-old attacker in the starting XI v Burton.