Former Leeds United man and controversial character announces summer exit after England stint

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Ex-Leeds United defender Pontus Jansson will join Swedish club Malmo upon the expiry of his Brentford contract this summer

The 32-year-old Swede arrived in England with Leeds in 2016, initially on a loan deal from Italian side Torino, before agreeing to sign permanently at Elland Road the following February. Prior to the Whites’ promotion in 2020, Jansson was informed he was no longer in then-manager Marcelo Bielsa’s plans after three seasons and 120 appearances for the club.

Jansson courted controversy during a match between Leeds and Aston Villa at Elland Road in 2019 when Argentine coach Bielsa insisted Leeds allow their visitors to walk the ball into the net, after Mateusz Klich had netted with Villans’ attacker Jonathan Kodjia requiring treatment.

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Jansson visibly objected to Bielsa’s instruction, making a late attempt to deny Villa the chance to score unopposed, which was not looked upon favourably by the Leeds head coach.

Ahead of the 2019/20 campaign, in which Leeds would end their Premier League exile, Jansson joined fellow Championship side Brentford who he would go on to captain and lead into the top flight.

His current deal expires at the end of the 2022/23 season and is set to join Malmo on a free transfer, making a return to the Swedish club where he began his career. Jansson is an ardent Malmo supporter and was spotted amongst the club’s fans before their UEFA Europa League tie with Chelsea in 2019.

The defender shared a statement on social media after Brentford announced his planned departure on Friday afternoon: “Dear Brentford FC. Where do I start? Its [sic] been the best journey of my life. I arrived 4 years ago to a club that were fighting and aiming to one day become a Premier League club. 4 years later I am happy and proud to see that this club has now become exactly that.

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"Its [sic] very sadly that I am now sitting here and knowing that i have most likely played my last game for this lovely club and that i will move back to Sweden after this season. I can’t describe what this club has meant to me, it has been my passion for four years. I am happy to look back that I have been given my all for this club, every single day and I hope that people will remember me for that.”