Leeds United: Jansson’s love of football revived by move to Leeds

Pontus Jansson
Pontus Jansson
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Pontus Jansson admitted last night that he wanted a long-term move to Elland Road agreed at the earliest opportunity and categorically ruled out a return to parent club Torino, saying Leeds United had revived his “love for the sport”.

The centre-back is waiting for Leeds to push ahead with a deal to convert his loan from Torino into a permanent transfer but he said four months in the Championship had done nothing to put him off an extended stay with United.

Jansson became an overnight cult hero among Leeds’ support after arriving in England on a season-long loan from Italy, rapidly establishing himself as a fixture in Garry Monk’s defence.

The Sweden international was made available at short notice in August following a dispute over his contract at Torino and an unexpected decision by Torino head coach Sinisa Mihajlovic to deem him surplus to requirements.

Jansson said his time in Italy had “ended in a bad way” and he reiterated his desire to see Leeds complete a quick deal to make his move full-time.

At the time of his arrival, United owner Massimo Cellino negotiated an option with Torino giving Leeds the right to buy Jansson once the defender made 20 appearances this season.

Jansson will play for the 15th time at Brighton tomorrow and he should pass the threshold of 20 in the early stages of the January transfer window. He is likely to cost Leeds in the region of £3.5m if United take up the option to sign him permanently.

Jansson is yet to learn if the deal will go through and asked if he wanted negotiations to conclude quickly, he said: “Yes, sooner. I’m really happy to be here and Leeds have changed my football life again. I feel happy to play football and I feel the love for the sport. I’m thankful for that.

“I only know that I feel good and I’m glad to be here. Every day I’m happy to play football again. We’ll have to see what happens.”

Jansson has spoken previously about his spell with Torino improving his game and his tactical understanding of the sport but he insisted he had no interest in resuming his career with the Italian club at the end of his loan with Leeds.

“We will see what’s happening, I’m very happy to be here, but going back to Torino, no,” Jansson said. “I don’t actually want to talk about it because everything ended in a bad way there. Every day now when I go to my car and drive to the training ground here I’m so happy to play. I want it to be this way.

“When you don’t play every game and you’re out of the team, you can’t have that feeling. You would play every game. That’s how I am. You play football for a reason – I want to play and I want to win games and when you’re not playing you don’t feel that you are important for the team.

“When the team win, you can’t feel that happy because you’re not on the pitch.

“That’s how I am. I’m so happy that I can help Leeds to win games.”

Charlie Taylor, pictured in training for Burnley.

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