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Pontus Jansson slams treatment of Leeds United team-mate Pawel Cibicki

The Swedish attacker has not featured for Leeds United since January.

Mathew Nash

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Photo: Getty Images

In the summer Leeds United made a move to bring in highly-rated Swedish attacker Pawel Cibicki.

Leeds spent a fee, reported by the Yorkshire Evening Postto be in the region of £1.45 million to sign the player from Malmo.

Whilst Cibicki was not exactly a well-known signing fans were excited to see what the long-haired dynamo could bring to Elland Road.

But the 24-year-old has struggled at Leeds. It took until December until he got his first Championship appearance.

Since then he has not been a regular for Leeds and has not featured for the club since the January clash with Hull City.

For one Leeds team-mate and international comrade, it is simply not fair.

Pontus Jansson has come out with a staunch defence of his compatriot. He explained to Fotbalskanalen that the decision to leave Cibicki out of contention was ‘political’:

“I think it’s pretty sick (Cibicki’s situation). We won 4-5 matches when he started and he did well, but later he did not play anymore.

“It’s the boring part of the football world with a lot of politics. I try to help Pawel every day and keep him in good mood.”

He did however not lay any blame at the door of Leeds boss Paul Heckingbottom, who he understands has not seen enough of Cibicki to give him a chance:

“He did well when he played and he deserves more, but then I can understand the new coach who may not have seen Pawel so much.”

It is an incredible statement from the Leeds star, who captained Sweden in their 1-0 loss against Romania last night.

Jansson is not one to mince his words and it is what has made him so popular with the Leeds fans.

But this latest comment certainly suggests there have been forces at play at Leeds this season that do not sit well with Jansson.

So does Cibicki deserve a recall?

At this stage of Leeds’ season, it is hard to see the harm in giving Cibicki another shot. The Whites are in terrible form and have plummeted down the league table.

Cibicki is unlikely to be the answer to their worries. However, it seems unfair to keep him out of the action with the current crop of Leeds players playing so averagely.

Jansson clearly believes that Cibicki deserves another shot at the Leeds first-team, so why not give him a chance?

As for Jansson, these latest comments will add fuel to the fire of rumours suggesting he is not happy at Elland Road.

Monaco

“First of many” – Some Nottingham Forest fans react to Gil Dias’ wonder goal

The Portuguese youngster has signed for Forest on a season-long loan.

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Dias
Photo: Getty Images

Nottingham Forest boss Aitor Karanka has been extremely busy reshaping his squad during this summer and a series of high profile signings have given the Reds’ long-suffering supporters optimism ahead of the forthcoming campaign.

The Championship outfit have signed no fewer than nine players so far during the off season and it seems likely that Karanka will add more signings to his squad of players before the big August kick-off.

One man who has joined the Reds this summer is Gil Dias who has signed on a season-long loan from French giants Monaco and the 21-year-old has arrived with a big reputation and a glowing reference from agent Jorge Mendes.

(Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

Dias is one of several new signings who has been hoping to impress his new boss during a pre-season tour of Marbella and his wonder strike in a 3-0 win over Malaga this morning has firmly excited the Forest faithful.

After picking the ball up close to the half-way line, Dias danced past several defenders before calmly finishing under the advancing goalkeeper to give the Reds a 1-0 lead.

Given the nature of his first goal for the club some Forest fans were absolutely buzzing on Twitter, whilst Dias himself spoke of his delight at notching for the first time in the famous red.

Here we looked at some of the best tweets in reaction to Dias’ sensational goal…

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Manchester City

Oleksandr Zinchenko will thrive if given first-team football at Wolves next season

Wolves are reportedly interested in bringing the talented youngster to Molineux.

Liam Thomas

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Oleksandr Zinchenko
Photo: Getty Images

Manchester City‘s talented youngster Oleksandr Zinchenko looks set to leave the Premier League champions this summer in search of first team football.

According to the Telegraph, Wolves boss Nuno Espírito Santo is keen on bringing the wing back into his exciting setup, for a reported fee of £16 million.

Zinchenko started only six times for Pep Guardiola’s record breaking side last season and showed glimpses of what he could achieve if given a sufficient amount of game time.

(Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Wolves seem the perfect destination for Zinchenko at this stage in his career and the ambitious west Midlands club are showing no signs of fear going into the new Premier League season.

At 21 years of age, Zinchenko has already featured 16 times for his country; Ukraine and filled in for the absent Benjamin Mendy last season for City and proved he was more than capable of mixing it with the leagues best when needed.

The chance to play under the enigmatic Nuno Espírito Santo certainly puts Zinchenko in an environment to thrive, and the Ukrainian international will in no doubt take with him to Molineux what Pep Guardiola has taught him during his time at the Citizens.

“He is a talented player, so clear, so clean. The way he plays, his decisions are always perfect. As a young player, I hope in the future he will help us.”

– Manchester City boss, Pep Guardiola, speaking about Oleksandr Zinchenko last season.

Given the opportunity to play week in, week out will only improve Zinchenko’s already undeniable talent, and his versatility to play anywhere in the midfield would be a real weapon for Wolves to have at their disposal.

Zinchenko is undoubtedly a coaches dream, with a high footballing IQ and never ending relentless energy he could become a valuable member of Wolves’ set up for the 2018/19 Premier League season.

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Leeds United

Leeds’ loan signing of Jamal Blackman adds much-needed goalkeeping depth

Max Cohen

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Jamal Blackman
Photo: Getty Images

On Monday, Leeds United announced the loan signing of goalkeeper Jamal Blackman from Chelsea.

The 24-year-old Englishman represents an astute signing on Marcelo Bielsa’s part, adding much-needed depth and Championship experience to the squad.

This summer, the Yorkshire club have seen nine players depart Elland Road, including goalkeepers Felix Wiedwald and Andy Lonergan.

As a result of this large turnover, the Whites have been left extremely short-staffed between the sticks, with only 21-year-old Bailey Peacock-Farrell in the mix with meaningful first-team experience.

Blackman is a smart addition to the squad as it is clear more goalkeeping options are needed, and it would be naive to allow Peacock-Farrell to occupy the undisputed number one spot when he only has 12 Championship appearances to his name.

Although the youngster’s performances during the final months of last season showed his impressive potential, Peacock-Farrell nevertheless conceded 18 goals and kept just a solitary clean sheet in 11 matches.

(Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

In future seasons, the 21-year-old will be trusted with the starting spot but, for now, Jamal Blackman is a more effective option and can teach Peacock-Farrell about goalkeeping in the Championship.

Blackman made 31 appearances for Sheffield United last season, steering the Blades to an impressive tenth-placed finish, nine points above Leeds. The goalkeeper kept nine clean sheets and only conceded 34 goals, a laudable feat.

In addition, Chelsea experts think highly of the goalkeeper, as the club has continued to hold to his services permanently after numerous loan spells – perhaps indicating they hold out hope he can perform for the Blues at a top level one day.

Speaking to Leeds Live, football.london Chelsea writer Oliver Harbord praised Blackman’s saving abilities.

“He comes with the reputation of being a top shotstopper with some excellent reactions.”

In all, the season-long loan signing of Jamal Blackman is a smart piece of business from Leeds, bolstering their threadbare goalkeeping options with a highly-rated young shot-stopper.

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