Phil Hay lifts lid on Jansson departure – Leeds right to sell
The summer transfer window is over and it’s been a good one for Leeds, by and large.
Deals for Ben White, Helder Costa, Jack Harrison and Eddie Nketiah have definitely strengthened Marcelo Bielsa’s side, certainly in an attacking sense, although we would have liked another centre-back in after Pontus Jansson left.
There’s been much talk about Jansson after he left saying he’d been sold for financial fair play reasons. Bielsa also mentioned FFP when he was talking about Jansson in last week’s press conference.
However, at the time it had been said that Jansson was sold partly because he was seen as a disruptive influence behind the scenes.
And the details around this were revealed in a fascinating article by Phil Hay on new sports site The Athletic.
Bielsa said Jansson was Leeds’ best player last season and he was undoubtedly a talented and passionate centre-back. It’s why the fans loved him so much.
However, he always wore his heart on his sleeve and some of his antics behind the scenes proved too much for Bielsa.
“The relationship between Jansson and Bielsa was never quite right.,” Hay said. “Bielsa appreciated Jansson’s defensive brain and rated the centre back as “our best player in the Championship” last season but felt less enamoured by his attitude.
“There were flashpoints involving Jansson at various stages of his career with Leeds: a training-ground incident involving Matt Grimes which angered some of Grimes’ team-mates and prompted former manager Garry Monk to drop Jansson for a key league fixture against Brighton; a head injury away at Preston North End which Preston manager Alex Neil accused Jansson of faking; comments in the Swedish press which, unintentionally or otherwise, fuelled speculation about transfers; an incident against Aston Villa in April when Jansson sought to disregard Bielsa’s order to allow Villa to score an unopposed goal; and his reaction to defeat by Derby County in the Championship play-off semi-finals in May.”
The final straw was Jansson trying to persuade teammates to ask for a late return to the club after international duty this summer. Jansson had done the same before last season and ended up missing the first few games.
Bielsa wasn’t having it a second time and decided he should be sold as soon as possible.
Given this, Leeds made absolutely the right move. Everyone needs to be on the same page this season and Bielsa is the man who calls the tune. There’s a real chance of promotion and a player like Jansson could have jeopardised that. Losing Jansson was a move that will work for Leeds in the long run.