Connect with us

Championship

Pontus Jansson to captain Sweden, time for the same at Leeds United?

The Swedish defender will lead out his nation against Romania this week.

Mathew Coull

Published

on

Leeds United defender Pontus Jansson did not assure fans of his future at the club recently, when asked about next season by Expressen in his homeland. The centre-back stated:

“We’ll see what’s happening, I want to hear from the club how to look next year and so on.”

It was certainly not a ringing endorsement from a player who, last summer, was linked with some top Premier League teams.

But not many of them would take Jansson based on his form this season. Without his centre-back partner Kyle Bartley, who returned to Swansea City after the expiry of his loan deal, Jansson has struggled.

SOLNA, SWEDEN – MARCH 25: Pontus Jansson of Sweden during the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier between Sweden and Belarus at Friends arena on March 25, 2017 in Solna, . (Photo by Nils Petter Nilsson/Ombrello/Getty Images)

Yet Leeds fans know exactly how good a focused and inspired Jansson can be. Perhaps one way to hand him that impetus is to hand him the Leeds captaincy. When Sweden take on Romania tonight in an international friendly, Jansson will lead out his nation. Yet, at Leeds, Liam Cooper is an unpopular wearer of the armband.

Jansson will probably be wondering why he is not the captain at Leeds in the first place. Many a footballer in Jansson’s shoes would have felt aggrieved not to get the armband in the summer. Given his excellent leadership skills and good relationship with the fans he seemed an obvious choice. But for some Jansson is too emotional, too rash and lacking in the composure to lead the side.

However, maybe the armband is the solution to many of the problems. Jansson is a personality that thrives on responsibility. Giving him the armband could make the Swede focus on his performances more and perhaps he could lift some of those around him to another level.

Cooper is simply not working as a captain. Leeds fans have made that quite clear on numerous occasions this season. Meanwhile Jansson is about to captain a side that will play at the World Cup this summer.

IPSWICH, ENGLAND – JANUARY 13: Joe Garner of Ipswich Town and Pontus Jansson of Leeds United compete for the ball during the Sky Bet Championship match between Ipswich Town and Leeds United at Portman Road on January 13, 2018 in Ipswich, England. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

It would seem a shock tactic to hand him captaincy after seemingly hinting at a move away, like rewarding bad behaviour. But actually it would be a challenge. Think you’re too good for Leeds? Take the armband and drag the side and your team-mates back to form before thinking about bailing out.

If he could do that Leeds fans would love him all over again. The future would look brighter for next season. As for his future? He would be relishing the chance to lead out Leeds for at least one more crack at Premier League promotion.

Leeds should follow the lead of Sweden and give Jansson the captain’s armband, and see if it brings him back to life.

Nottingham Forest

Aitor Karanka should target reunion with Julien De Sart

The Belgian could be a great signing for Nottingham Forest.

Mathew Coull

Published

on

It seems as though Belgian midfielder Julien De Sart will be looking for a new club this summer. He finds himself in a state of limbo after a season on loan at Zulte Waregem from Middlesbrough.

Despite being a regular for the Essevee he will not be making a permanent move to the club. According to Het Laatste Nieuws, the club will not be prioritising his €700,000 (£612,000) permanent deal agreed with Middlesbrough.

The 23-year-old will now return to the Riverside, where it appears he has no long-term future.

(Photo by Ashley Allen/Getty Images)

But should his former boss bring him to Nottingham Forest?

Aitor Karanka was the manager at Boro when De Sart was snapped up from Standard Liege back in 2016 and was considered one for the future on Teesside.

Now, the former Belgium under-21 international needs to find a new home and a reunion with Karanka at the City Ground could be a perfect move.

The central-midfielder would be a welcome addition for Forest, who need to strengthen across the park following another mediocre season.

(Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

De Sart has impressed in the East Midlands before. He was finally showing what he could do during a loan spell with Derby County in 2017. Unfortunately, a change of manager saw him drop out of the side under Gary Rowett.

Forest, however, could offer him a second chance in the Championship and it would give Karanka a chance to properly work with a player he clearly rated just a couple of seasons ago.

He would be a cheap and known transfer option for the Nottingham Forest first-team squad. He would also arrive with a point to prove to his old boss Karanka and the manager at bitter rivals Derby, something Forest fans will certainly appreciate.

It would be an under-the-radar signing, but one which could act some genuine quality to the Forest midfield ahead of the new season.

Continue Reading

Derby County

Newcastle United should take advantage of Matej Vydra’s low asking fee

The Czech international has scored 20 goals in the Championship this season.

Josh Kerr

Published

on

Matej Vydra
Photo: Getty Images

Newcastle United ensuring another season of Premier League football represents one of Rafael Benitez’ most impressive achievements in football to date.

The job done by the Spaniard is all the more admirable considering the Magpies striker options have been thin for large periods of the season, and the arrival of a goal-scorer is surely imminent for the Tyneside club.

According to The Telegraph, Derby County are likely to list their top-scorer Matej Vydra for sale after their failure to earn promotion to the Premier League.

This comes as massive news to a number of clubs in England’s top-flight, and Newcastle should be one of the front-runners queuing for the 26-year-old’s prolific services.

The Czech Republic international has been excellent this season firing 20 goals in 35 appearances for the Rams.

Reports suggest the club may be forced to sell their star striker in order to reduce the club’s £35 million wage bill ahead of next season.

The 26-year-old’s sale this summer will be Derby’s attempts to slash their budgets and form a strategy that is going to enable the club to push for promotion once again next season.

A fee of around £8 million could prove a major boost for Newcastle, considering the club’s financial restraints, and a 20-goal striker would surely be an improvement on Benitez’s current front-line options.

(Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

Islam Slimani’s loan move from Leicester proved to be a disaster, and the arrival of Joselu was one of the most disappointing transfers of the season.

The club are in desperate need of a goalscorer, with Perez leading the club’s individual efforts, despite being a number 10 and not an out-and-out goalscorer.

Vydra also has rare Premier League experience with West Bromwich Albion, as well as Watford, and his graft in the Championship may mean he’s ready for a return back to the top-flight.

The former West Brom striker guarantees goals and if there is one thing Tyneside supporters have missed in recent years, it is a goal-scoring hero.

At a little over £8 million, he could still prove a real bargain and a relatively insignificant risk.

Benitez has been wanting to break the bank since his arrival in 2016 but may be tempted do a deal on the cheap for the highly-rated striker.

Newcastle will be looking to improve on their impressive 10th place finish next season and the firepower of a genuine goalscorer could see them surpass the highs of this campaign.

Vydra offers pace and is even an aerial threat at just 5ft 2, so it has to be a priority for Newcastle to capture one of the bargains of the season and bring Vydra to St James’ Park.

Continue Reading

Birmingham City

Leeds must take advantage of Garry Monk’s misstep and snap up David Stockdale

The experienced shot-stopper would be a useful addition at Elland Road.

Max Cohen

Published

on

David Stockdale
Photo: Getty Images

Rarely is a goalkeeper who was previously named in the Championship Team of the Year told he is surplus to requirements, but this fate appears to have befallen Birmingham City’s David Stockdale.

Leeds United must act quickly and sign Stockdale from Birmingham, reuniting the former Premier League goalie with his favourite club.

Stockdale starred for Brighton and Hove Albion in the 2016/17 Championship campaign, steering the Seagulls to automatic promotion while being named in the PFA Team of the Year.

When the Englishman signed for Birmingham the following summer, many lauded the move as one of the coups of the transfer window.

Yet, Stockdale endured a turbulent year at St Andrew’s as the club went through three managers and narrowly avoided relegation.

Nonetheless, it came as a surprise when the Birmingham Mail reported that manager Garry Monk would allow the 32-year-old keeper to leave this summer.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Stockdale enjoyed a strong end to the season as the Blues won five out of their last nine to stay up, keeping three clean sheets in the process.

Given his strong Championship pedigree and impressive recent form, it seems odd that Monk would allow Stockdale to depart this summer.

However, Birmingham’s loss could turn into Leeds’ gain, as the Yorkshire club would do well to acquire the Leeds-born shot-stopper.

The goalkeeper grew up in the city and is a Leeds supporter, and even had a trial with the club when he was 12.

Stockdale failed the trial back then but has a superb chance to move to Elland Road and deputise for his beloved childhood club.

The goalkeeper has been a problem position all year for Leeds.

According to Phil Hay of the Yorkshire Evening Post, summer signing Felix Wiedwald has “struggled to adapt” to the Championship, while Bailey Peacock-Farrell is relatively inexperienced at only 21 years of age.

The signing of David Stockdale would benefit all parties involved, reuniting the goalkeeper with his boyhood club and solving the positional dilemma at Elland Road.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2018 The Boot Room.