World Cup display confirms how crucial Leeds 27-year-old is to Bielsa revolution
Leeds centre-back Pontus Jansson made his World Cup debut for Sweden on Monday and put in a solid display in the 1-0 win.
New manager Marcelo Bielsa will no doubt know a lot about him already.
He reportedly watched all of last season’s games as part of his process for deciding whether to take over at Elland Road or not, although that might not have painted too rosy a picture of the talismanic centre-back.
Jansson didn’t have his best season but he wasn’t the only one who played below his best in a campaign that fell apart soon after a fast start, and led to two managers losing their jobs.
However, Jansson was a rock on Monday against South Korea and proved that when he’s surrounded by decent defenders, he’s a top centre-back.
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Okay, his opponents might not have been the strongest team that Sweden will come up against but a lot of managers will have been impressed with what they saw, and some Premier League teams might be thinking about a move.
He has said that he wants to play in the Premier League and if the right side comes in, he might decide to take his chance when he gets it, rather than risk another failed attempt at promotion with Leeds.
One name might convince him to change his mind – Marcelo Bielsa.
The opportunity to play under the legendary former Argentina manager has got to be a big pull for players next season, and Jansson might decide that Leeds deserve one more shot with him in charge.
If they don’t get up next season or show much improvement then things might change next summer, but Bielsa could let Jansson know how important he is with a quick call while he’s at the World Cup.
A Jansson back to his best could be an absolutely vital part of the Leeds jigsaw next season and Bielsa should make it a priority – he would be as good as a new signing.