How do you solve a problem like Pontus?
A lot has been said this weekend about the future of Pontus Jansson, with reports suggesting that he is on his way out of the club and set to complete a £5.5m move to Brentford. This has caused a bit of a stir amongst the supporters at Elland Road, with many Leeds fans still unsure whether him moving on would be good for the club or not.
On one hand, you’ve got the fans who don’t think he’s that good anymore and have the statistical evidence to prove it. And on the other, you’ve got the fans who don’t think that the squad has enough reinforcements to deal with the defender leaving. Whereas the truth of the matter and what needs to happen next probably lies somewhere in the middle.
Were Leeds better off without him than with him last year? Statistically, you’d have to say yes, but the fact of the matter is, they still managed to move from 13th to 3rd and he played in the majority of those games, so it wasn’t as if he was just a passenger to this side.
And they shipped 14 fewer goals along the way last season than they did previously, so to say they got to 3rd place in spite of him would be a bit of a stretch. He even made it into the PFA Team Of The Year, so he can’t have been that bad for the team.
So say you get rid of him, as they look set to do. Then what?
After all the loans that they’ve brought in so far this summer, they’re pushing the limit of how many loan players you can have in a matchday squad. So do you get another loan player in, or do you reinvest that money in another defender? Who are you going to bring in that can do as good as, if not better job than the one Jansson has done for Leeds not just last season, but the seasons before that.
That’s why I think Leeds are playing an incredibly dangerous game by letting the big Swede go. He’s shown over the years just how crucial he is to the club, and could end up being one of those ‘what if’ moments if Leeds don’t break their 15 years and counting exile from the top flight.