By Richard Parks
David Prutton has claimed in the Yorkshire Evening Post that Leeds United should make a “huge statement” and appoint Pontus Jansson the new club captain.
The Sky Sports pundit and former Leeds midfielder is convinced that the Sweden international, 27, has the qualities to lead from the front at such a marquee club.
Prutton believes Jansson should take over from Cooper, who was made skipper last summer in the wake of Liam Bridcutt’s departure to Nottingham Forest.
“He has got leadership qualities, but he can be quite hot-headed at times and you need to have him on the pitch for the majority of the season,” Prutton said of Jansson in the Yorkshire Evening Post. “But then Liam Cooper has been sent off a couple of times. And the general form of the back four has kind of ebbed and flowed with the general form of the team.
“You need someone who is a bit of a mainstay as captain and Pontus seems like that and the fact that he has just captained his national team is a huge statement and a huge statement for him as a player.
“It shows that he has got that trust, so why not have him as captain at Leeds? If you are looking at moving forward between now and the end of the season to get the standards back up and make sure that they keep them to make sure the fans go home happy into the summer, then I think making Pontus captain is a great shout.”
Football Insider verdict:
Should Leeds manage to hang on to Jansson this summer – and that is certainly not guaranteed in the light of his comments that he wants guarantees about the team’s transfer plans – it would make sense to promote him. Aged 27, he is at the peak of his powers, has spent two seasons at Elland Road, knows the club, his teammates and understands the demands of the supporters. He also has a connection with the fans, even though his second season has not matched his brilliant first campaign. Cooper is not a good enough player to be the captain. He has had a pretty average campaign and makes too many mistakes to be a mainstay for a club like Leeds. With his brittleness and regular reds, he has hardly led by example this season.
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