Swedish international Pontus Jansson was announced as the latest signing for Leeds United this morning. The centre-back joins on a season-long loan from Italian club Torino who finished 12th in Seria A last season.
Jansson becomes the tenth signing of the summer for Garry Monk. He was named in the Sweden squad for the Euro 2016 tournament and boasts eight international caps. Formerly of Malmo FF in Sweden, Jansson joined Torino in 2014. The 25-year-old joins Leeds as a relatively unknown player and will have a point to prove.
He completes his move at a crucial time with Leeds failing to win any of the opening three fixtures of the season, conceding six goals in the process.
After speaking to numerous people based in Sweden that know Jansson well it is clear that he is highly thought of back home.
Speaking to Swedish football journalist Ole Tornen of Skanesport.ff, he spoke very highly of Pontus Jansson:
“Jansson is the second best defender in Sweden behind Andreas Gronqvist. He is part of a small group that are a class above other Swedish defenders. In a few years, I think that Jansson will be the next captain of Sweden if he is given regular football.”
The Swedish journalist went on to comment on his strengths and weaknesses within the game.
“In terms of strengths, Jansson is good in the air. He is a good passer of the ball and has a solid technique. His best quality is his attitude. He will be a fan-favourite and he will love the fans back. If he is injured, expect him to appear in the stands with fans of Leeds. The only weakness he has is he is not very quick but his technique is better than most other defenders.”
Tornen spoke very highly of the Torino man, adding “I think Pontus Jansson will be a sensation at Leeds United.”
I also contacted Max Wiman, another football journalist from Sweden. The sydsvenskan.se writer was also full of praise for the Sweden international.
“He is more than good enough for the Championship. I am very surprised that he has dropped to that league as I feel he is too good for Leeds United. He is tough with the ball and very powerful. He used to be a striker so he knows how to score too.”
Wiman also compared him to the West Bromwich Albion defender and Sweden team-mate Jonas Olsson.
“I think he is a better prospect than Jonas Olsson. He is also good friends with Zlatan Ibrahimovic from the national team. When Pontus was only 17, he played in a friendly match for Malmo FF against Milan. He kept Zlatan very quiet throughout. He always gives everything and is a passionate player.”
Signs are encouraging but he will have to prove his quality on this pitch. Leeds are in desperate need of a reliable defender that can take charge at the back after struggling early on this season.
With the addition of Liam Bridcutt this week, Garry Monk can focus on integrating both Jansson and Bridcutt into a shaken team.
Numerous Torino fans have admitted they are shocked and saddened that Jansson has departed the club on loan.
Jansson will likely be part of the plans for the Yorkshire derby against Sheffield Wednesday this weekend subject to international clearance.