Brentford manager Thomas Frank has told West London Sport that he wants defender Pontus Jansson to act as a “leader” when the colossal centre-back returns to Elland Road to play Leeds on Wednesday – the first time he returns in a Brentford shirt.
Jansson, 28, left Leeds to join Brentford in a £5million deal earlier in the summer, after three years at Elland Road where he was first signed on loan from Serie A side Torino. that deal quickly became permanent under Garry Monk.
The Sweden international clocked up 120 appearanced for Leeds in all competitions, and also had a hand in 13 goals during his time in Yorkshire. Indeed, he scored nine times for Leeds and even showed to creative nous to lay on four assists.
Now, Jansson returns to Elland Road after plenty of criticism from Leeds fans for leaving the club. Frank has urged his new Brentford captain to “act as a leader” and look to ignore the recepetion – good or bad – from Leeds fans.
“The first three games and the following 42 games he needs to be a leader, he needs to be a strong personality for us and he has shown already that he is a strong personality in many, many good ways,” Frank said.
TBR’s view – Are Leeds better off without Jansson?
There is no doubt that Jansson is a top-quality centre-back, and is arguably the best the Championship has to offer in that position. But do Leeds miss him? Right now, no.
The signing and impeccable immediate form of Ben White has eased the loss of Jansson. Indeed, White has shone since joining the club on a season-long loan from Brighton, with his ability as a ball-playing defender shinign through.
Jansson is obviously a big miss, but White has helped Leeds patch up the wounds of Jansson’s exit.