Why Pontus Jansson is the best defender in the Championship

He’s regarded as one of the best defenders in the Championship and has continued to be a star in Leeds United’s defence for the last 3 years. But after reportedly falling out with the club, Pontus Jansson is set to leave Elland Road in the next 48 hours.

Phil Hay originally broke the news that an unnamed English club have agreed a £5.5 million fee with Leeds for their centre half and this story has been followed up by Sky Sources. Though the identity of the club currently remains anonymous, the most likely suitor for the Swedish international is Brentford,

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Hay initially wrote that this transfer came about due to the breaking down of relations between Peacocks and Jansson. Fans on Twitter were quick to recall Jansson’s unwillingness to allow Villa to score despite Marcelo Bielsa’s orders to let Dean Smith’s side level the gave to 1-1 after a controversial opener. The fallout between Bielsa and Jansson is likely to have began then and hasn’t improved since.

Leeds fans will be gutted that they’re only getting £5.5 million for their 28 year old defender, but the club buying him are getting a bargain. Here’s why:

Style of Play

The 6ft 4 defender has a commanding presence at the back, able to win headers with ease whilst give his side a significant aerial threat from set pieces in the opposition box. What made him a fan favourite at Elland Road was his passion and aggression, never shying away from a challenge or being afraid to dive into a header.

Despite his height suggesting no nonsense defending and hoofing the ball into Row Z, the Swede is very comfortable on the ball, willing to play the ball out from the back and build attacks from his own box. The definition of a ball playing centre back, with 2.1 long balls per game last season.

In terms of tackling and interceptions, the former Torino defender impresses statistically. 2.4 tackles and 2.3 interceptions per game among the highest out of the Championship’s defenders.

Shrewd business

Whoever will be getting Jansson next season will certainly be getting a competent defender and for a price as cheap as £5.5 million in this market? It’s a no brainer really. Statistics provided courtesy of WhoScored.

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