By Craig Scott

12th Feb, 2020 | 10:31am

Leeds 2019 sale hailed as 'fantastic' business for club who signed him by Sky Sports pundit

Brentford pulled off a “fantastic” signing when they signed Pontus Jansson from Leeds United last year, according to ex-Middlesbrough player Gary O’Neil.

Jansson, 28, joined the Bees in July 2019 for a fee of £5.5million and has since been handed the captain’s armband at Griffin Park and played a key role in the London club’s push for promotion to the Premier League.

The Swedish centre-back was not involved when Leeds drew 1-1 at Griffin Park on Tuesday night due to an injury that has seen him miss the last five Championship fixtures, but he is due to return to action for Thomas Frank’s side soon.

Brentford have conceded just 26 goals in the Championship this season – fewer than any other team in the second-tier – and O’Neil has suggested that Jansson’s arrival from Leeds has played a key role in that.

“Every time I’ve gone to Brentford, I’ve thought ‘these are better than when I played them last year’ and they’re in for a real chance [of promotion],” said O’Neil on Sky Sports News ahead of Leeds’ clash against the Bees.

“I think the signing of Jansson in the summer from Leeds was a fantastic one.

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“The front three get a lot of plaudits but defensively they’ve been excellent this season.”

Jansson was a brilliant defender in his time at Elland Road.

He had the odd nightmare but overall, the Sweden international is one of the best centre-backs that the Whites have had in their time outside of the Premier League.

Brentford bagged themselves a bargain when they signed Jansson for as little as they did in the summer and while Leeds’ defensive record is the second-best in the Championship behind the Bees, it’s not as if the Yorkshire giants have massively missed the Swede.

That is down to the impressive performances of loanee Ben White.

According to stats by WhoScored, White has averaged more tackles, interceptions, blocks and passes per Championship appearance than Jansson this term.

Jansson was a popular figure for Leeds supporters up until his exit but would he have made much a difference if he stayed? Probably not.

In other Leeds United news, Barcelona star Ousmane Dembele has reacted to Leeds’ draw with Brentford