Leeds United: Jansson wants to realise Premier League dream with Whites

Pontus Jansson.
Pontus Jansson.
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Pontus Jansson said the belief that Leeds United were “on our way to something good” had convinced him to make a fresh commitment to the club after signing a new five-year contract.

Jansson has agreed an improved deal to 2022, securing an extension less than four months after sealing a permanent move to Leeds and accepting terms which tie him to Elland Road until beyond his 30th birthday.

Pontus Jansson.

Pontus Jansson.

Leeds signed Jansson on a three-year deal from Torino in July, paying £3.5m for his signature, but have now handed the Sweden international the longest contract held by any of the players in their senior squad.

The development comes as a shot in the arm for Jansson in a week when he was dropped from United’s starting line-up.

The centre-back sat on the bench during Leeds’ 3-0 win at Bristol City last Saturday following the club’s run of three straight league defeats.

Jansson, who made the Championship’s team of the year during his loan from Torino last season, had described his form as “s**t” in the lead-up to the trip to Ashton Gate and lost his place to Matthew Pennington.

Jansson, however, said he saw a bright future at Leeds, a club who are again bidding to regain their Premier League status after 13 seasons outside the top flight.

“I’m really happy of course,” Jansson told LUTV. “It’s felt like a second home since day one.

“We came from Italy where it was a little bit tougher, a different type of culture and a different type of football.

England is quite similar to Sweden and Leeds were fantastic.

“Everyone’s been good to me and when I started to play good on the pitch, I got love from the fans. I’m really pleased to be here. I hope I can give something back now.

“I remember my first day here I got a question ‘what do I know about Leeds?’ I remember (Harry) Kewell, (Mark) Viduka, some of those players, and I said Leeds are a club who belong in the Premier League.

“I said since day one, and people laughed in the beginning, that I wanted to play in the Premier League with Leeds and now we’re getting closer and closer. We’re on our way to something good. Since day one I really believed in it and now there are more than me who believe in it.”

United spent heavily on Jansson over the summer after his highly impressive first year in England.

His season-long loan from Torino gave Leeds the option to buy him permanently, a clause United moved to activate in February by finalising a three-year deal with Jansson. His transfer from Italy was officially concluded on July 1.

The defender contributed to the unbeaten form which saw Leeds’ reach the top of the Championship last month but United subsequently slipped to four losses in five games, leading Jansson to brand his performances “s**t” on Instagram.

Christiansen, who fielded Jansson in a second-string line-up during last night’s Carabao Cup defeat to Leicester City, insisted last weekend that he was confident Jansson would rediscover his old form.

“You don’t need to go out to the media to expose yourself,” Christiansen said. “The thing to do is work hard for the team and come back. And for sure he will.”

Gjanni Alioski

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