Pontus Jansson has revealed that his loan move to Leeds United saved his football career.
The Swede finally ended a wait to secure his long-term future at Elland Road by agreeing a permanent move from parent club Torino on Thursday evening. The deal will see the Swedish international join for around £3.5million in the summer.
Leeds had been expected to secure Jansson’s services during the January transfer window after the centre-back reached a 22-game clause in his loan deal.
But Jansson has revealed how close he came to quitting the game before Leeds co-owner Massimo Cellino came to the rescue.
Jansson said: “It was a Sunday when they told me they wanted to take the contract back.
“I called my agent to say you have to fix something for me. If you don’t I will quit playing football because I was tired of everything.
“It was really hard for me. I didn’t show it to people around me but I had a really tough situation with my time in Italy.
“I didn’t get enough game time and then I had problems with my knee. It was a lot of things that didn’t go in the way that I wanted.
“Leeds changed my career to feel the love for the football.”
Jansson has been an integral part of Leeds’s defensive unit since flying in from Serie A and has helped catapult United up to fourth and into the Championship promotion mix.
In the process, his infectious celebrations with supporters have earned him cult status on the terraces.
That adoration ratcheted up another notch on Wednesday when he headed an 89th-minute winner in front of 6,000 travelling fans in the 2-1 victory at Blackburn Rovers .
“I knew after that goal that Cellino couldn’t do anything other than sign me,” Jansson joked.
Cellino has been a long admirer of the Swedish international and attempted to sign him for Italian club Cagliari prior to his ownership at Leeds.
“I know that Cellino likes me,” Jansson added.
“He said that he loves me as his son. I always do my all for the club and the team.
“That’s how I am. I always give 100 per cent for the team and this club.”