Former Leeds United defender Pontus Jansson has opened up about the prospect of facing Marcelo Bielsa’s side next season in a new interview.
The 28-year-old left the Whites earlier this month to join Championship rivals Brentford for a reported fee of £5.5m (via the Yorkshire Post) and is set to return to return to Elland Road on August 21st.
Speaking to Sky Sports journalist Anton Toloui about his departure from Leeds, Jansson admitted: “It was a lot of emotions but it ended well and I have good relations with the club.
“I love Leeds but when I play them on the pitch I will hate them.”
Although the Whites have not yet revealed whether Jansson’s exit was down to a personality clash with Bielsa or due to issues with adhering to the Championship’s Financial Fair Play rules, the Yorkshire-based outfit will now have to quickly learn how to cope without the defender’s domineering presence with their new campaign set to kick-off in just 17 days’ time.
With emotions still high amongst the majority of the club’s fan-base following Jansson’s decision to move on to pastures new, these latest comments are unlikely to be received kindly.
Having welcomed the Sweden international with open arms upon his arrival in 2016, Whites supporters grew to adore him as his passion on, and off the pitch became apparent.
Such was his impact last season, it could be argued that if he had been fit for the play-offs, Leeds may well have been preparing for a year in the Premier League this summer.
Yet following their capitulation against Derby in May and Jansson’s subsequent departure, the Whites now find themselves in a sticky position ahead of the new season.
Although Bielsa has strengthened his defensive options by bringing in Ben White on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion, yesterday’s 4-0 humbling at the hands of Manchester United pointed out Leeds’ frailties at the back and thus it would not be surprising if they look to bring in further reinforcements between now and August.