The signing of Pontus Jansson for Leeds United isn’t just us signing another footballer. I’ve been thinking hard about a player that has made such an impact at the club in the last decade, there isn’t one. I genuinely believe that given where we are, where we were and are trying to get to that Pontus Jansson is one of the most important signings in my lifetime (25 years). He has taken on board everything that is Leeds United Football Club.
It’s a big statement about being one of the most important signings but I’ll tell you why. Lucas Radebe, Mark Viduka, Rio Ferdinand…even more recently Jermaine Beckford have all been crucial signings for the club. Realistically we were always adding to successful sides when we signed these players. We were normally flying high in the Premier League or somewhere about there and despite the improvement they brought we never actually won anything. Jermaine Beckford was the most important player as we got out of League One, despite him not being at the level of the bigger players it’s about what he did at that level wheat makes him important. Pontus Jansson has come in at a time where fans were divided and the club were scuffing about in mid-table at best, the years dwindling away in the second tier of English football.
Jansson has been the face of change at Leeds United. others around him have made a huge impact at the club. Garry Monk and his staff deserve massive amounts of credit, Monk especially has been the most important move in our recent history off the pitch, no doubt about it. Other players deserve a mention, the pairing of Kyle Bartley and the bubbly Luke Ayling along with the class of Pablo Hernandez and leadership of Liam Bridcutt. They aren’t alone but one stands out above the rest, the passionate Swede who arrived at the football club after considering quitting football altogether. He has been the link between the fans and the football club again, the player who the fans put all their belief in and the one who has shown such desire to play for Leeds United that it makes many before him look so very half-hearted.
On top of the pride and passion that Pontus Jansson shows every time he pulls on the Leeds United shirt he is a bloody good footballer. He has come into a side that could not defend to save their lives. Bartley was paired with Sol Bamba who was struggling to kick a ball straight and Luke Ayling was new, Green struggling to command what seemed like a slap-dash defence. We now know the problem and he left, in came Pontus and his magic hat. He has formed a formidable partnership with the excellent Kyle Bartley, flanked by Ayling and Taylor or Gaetano Berardi, all who fight and battle for every ball. We rarely concede goals now, six home games in a row…incredible given where we were just six months ago. Defending set-pieces…he enjoys it, thrives under the pressure. He also does damage at the other end, crucial goals and Norwich and Villa before the most important of them all in the last minute on Wednesday where I described him “like a man possessed”.
Jansson is everything I want to see in a player at my football club. With him in the side we believe anything and everything is possible and he deserves all the credit that comes his way. Off the pitch he is known for being a genuinely nice guy, humble and gracious. The picture released of him signing the contract fills me with confidence and optimism for the future. Players will look at Jansson and those around him and want to come to the Leeds United movement. The club have done a wonderful job securing this and they also deserve credit.
Pontus Jansson has fallen in love with Leeds United, and we have fallen in love with Pontus Jansson.