Jansson asks Leeds to show some ambition
Monday, 4th Jun 2018 13:29 by Tim Whelan
Pontus Jansson has claimed that a couple of Premier League clubs are interested in signing him, and hinted that he won’t hang around in Leeds if we don’t look like getting promoted.
Jansson has told Swedish media outlet Aftonbladet all about his ambition to play in the Premier League before too long, then rather oddly told them to forget about this until after the World Cup.
He said “There is interest. All I know is that I'm going to stay in England. It will take a lot for me to leave England.” In January there was talk of Southampton making a bid for his services as a replacement for Virgil van Dijk, and it’s possible the Saints will come calling again now they have avoided relegation. More recently West Ham have also been linked with a bid for Jansson.
The big Swede has hinted that given his cult status at Elland Road he would prefer to get to the Premier League with Leeds, but won’t wait for ever for that to happen. “I really enjoy Leeds but I want to see the ambition that now is the time to take Leeds up to the Premier League.” Given that he’s now 27, he might think that time is running out if he is going to get to England’s highest level before the veteran stage of his career.
Jansson also said that he has told his agent (former Swedish international Martin Dahlin) to put any talk of a move on hold while he concentrates on the World Cup. Sweden are in a group with Germany, Mexico and South Korea, so they might be considered likely to finish second in this section and extend their involvement beyond their third game on June 27th.
It’s not clear what Jansson was hoping to achieve with these comments, whether he or his agent are aware of a specific approach from a premier league club, or whether he was just responding to a question from Aftonbladet.
He might just be trying to prompt Leeds into making some big signings this summer, but the signs are the club is moving that way already, with the investment from the 49ers and the search for a more high profile head coach in place of Paul Heckinbottom.
Or is Jansson trying to alert Premier League clubs of his availability in the hope of landing a move? His willingness to wait until after the World Cup will give him time to see how the rebuilding of the Leeds squad pans out over the summer before he decides on his next move.
As the Swede is only 12 months into a five-year contract with Leeds we should be able to command a decent transfer fee from any Premier League club, possibly making a tidy profit on the £3.5m paid to Torino last summer. But should we cash in if an offer came along?
This might be tempting, given that his form was a little bit variable during the season just finished. But on the other hand Leeds are trying to sign Kyle Bartley, with whom Jansson developed a good understanding during his successful first season at Leeds.
And while we’re in the process of improving the squad for another promotion challenge, it won’t help to attract the kind of talent we need if we were to sell one of the top players we already have. So on balance it would be best to try and hang on to Jansson for at least one more season.
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