Date: 21st August 2019 at 5:21pm
Written by: Zak Roome

Marcelo Bielsa has hailed Brentford centre-back Pontus Jansson as Leeds United’s best player of the 2018/19 season, but not every Whites supporter agrees.

Speaking ahead of the Sweden international’s first return to Elland Road following a £5.5million plus add-ons switch in the summer, the Argentine was naturally asked to reflect on his former player, who would be expected to form a part of Thomas Frank’s starting line-up on Wednesday night.

The 28-year-old is yet to miss a minute of Championship action for the Bees, but is currently trailing Julian Jeanvier for tackles completed, despite attempting more than his younger teammate – who has played marginally fewer minutes.

Jansson leads Jeanvier for interceptions, clearances, passes blocked and accurate long balls, though, while also committing fewer fouls.

He also ranked third for all Leeds players for successful tackles, second for interceptions, and first for clearances last season. Enough for Bielsa to consider the £18,000-a-week defender our best player.

“He was the best player of the team last season,” the boss noted, as quoted by the Yorkshire Evening Post’s Lee Sobot. “He did a high-level season last year. I appreciate what he gave to the team.”

Bielsa went on to add: “I think the fans are going to be fair and recognise what he did for the club.”

There has been some discussion amongst the Elland Road faithful over how Jansson will be received on Wednesday night, as the defender’s exit highlighted issues the club saw with his attitude, although sources close to the centre-back claimed Financial Fair Play was the true cause of his eventual transfer.

It remains to be seen if there will be jeers or cheers when he takes to the field against United during the midweek encounter, but some Leeds supporters have already shown their reluctance to laud his name.

Here’s how these fans reacted to Bielsa claiming the Sweden international was our best player last season…

Click for the forum