EFL pundit Ian Holloway has claimed that Leeds United’s decision to sell Pontus Jansson in the summer transfer window was the right one, due to the fact that the club’s defence has improved since then.
Jansson somewhat unexpectedly left Leeds in July after three years at Elland Road, with the centre back joining Championship rivals Brentford for a fee reported to be worth around £5.5million.
That left many questioning whether Leeds would be able to fill the gap in their back four, something which they have done with the signing of Ben White on a season-long loan from Brighton and Hove Albion.
With White taking the place of Jansson, Leeds have been hugely effective in defence this season, conceding just nine goals in 16 league games this season, something which Holloway believes has justified the decision the club made in allowing the Swede to leave in the summer.
Were Leeds United right to offload Pontus Jansson?
Speaking to EFL on Quest following Leeds’ 2-1 win at home to Blackburn Rovers on Saturday about the Yorkshire club’s performances so far this season, the former QPR, Leicester and Crystal Palace manager said: “Attacking wise they haven’t [matched last season], but defensively I think they’re better.
“I think White has come in and he’s been outstanding. They got rid of Jansson, who was a fan favourite, but I think he had a rick in him.”
Following their win over Blackburn on Saturday, Leeds are third in the Championship table going into the November international break, while Jansson and Brentford currently sit ninth in the second-tier standings, after a 3-0 win at Wigan over the weekend.
I think Holloway does have a point here.
White has been nothing short of outstanding since arriving at Elland Road, and it is telling that there appears to be very little focus on Jansson’s absence around the club so far this season.
Indeed, with Leeds’ attack yet to really fire on all cylinders this season, the contribution of their defence to their current position is something that cannot be underestimated for Bielsa’s side.
The only concern however, is that White is only on-loan from Brighton, meaning Leeds will once again have to fill that position in a few months time, with the Seagulls surely not going to want to let the youngster leave again, considering how impressive he has been this season.