PONTUS JANSSON warned the rest of the Championship that Leeds United’s squad had more to offer this season after new signing Pierre-Michel Lasogga led the way in a 5-0 rout of Burton Albion.
Lasogga struck twice during a scintillating debut at Elland Road on Saturday to inspire United’s biggest league win since 2004 and give the club a chance of moving top of the table on Tuesday night.
Head coach Thomas Christiansen dropped in-form winger Gjanni Alioski to accommodate Lasogga, the striker signed on loan from Hamburg on transfer deadline day, and the change paid off as Leeds crushed Burton and maintained their unbeaten start to the season.
Lasogga’s arrival from Germany completed a concerted spell of recruitment by Leeds, much of it focused on the attacking end of Christiansen’s team, and provided a direct replacement for last season’s top scorer Chris Wood, the forward sold to Burnley for £15m last month.
Centre-back Jansson, who was never troubled on an afternoon when Burton produced one effort on goal, said the arrival of Lasogga and other attacking players like Alioski and Samuel Saiz have given United’s squad greater potential and eased the pressure on Pablo Hernandez to provide creativity at number 10.
Leeds narrowly failed to qualify for the play-offs last season, finishing seventh after a late loss of form, but Jansson said: “This year we’ve got a lot of options in offence. We can change players.
“Alioski has been one of the best players this season but was on the bench and yet we scored five goals. Wood was a good target (man) but now we have other players with other qualities.
“We work hard in training during the week with Thomas about how we should attack and how we should defend. Much more time is spent on that than last year.
“A lot had to go through Pablo last season because he was one of the best players in the league but like me, when I have the ball, I have many more options to find a team-mate. That makes it easier.
“Five-zero is a good result. We were good from the first minute. The opponents were maybe not the best but it was one of our best games.”
“This year we’ve got a lot of options in offence. We can change players. Alioski has been one of the best players this season but was on the bench and yet we scored five goals.”Pontus Jansson
Lasogga took 20 minutes to register his first Leeds goal and he later sealed a 5-0 win with a header before the hour. In between, Kalvin Phillips, Hernandez and Kemar Roofe took advantage of a one-paced and out-classed Burton team.
United forced through Lasogga’s move at the very end of the transfer window, sealing a deal which saw Hamburg agree to pick up around three quarters of his £50,000 a week wage. The former Germany Under-21 international cost Hamburg £8m in 2014 but had ruled surplus to requirements at the start of the summer.
Jansson said: “Lasogga is a good guy. I have some friends in the (Sweden) national team who play with him in Hamburg. They say he is a good person who works hard and is professional.
“It’s good to start with two goals. We have some other good finishers and he will be important for us. (The club) did a good job to get him here.”
Victory over Birmingham City at Elland Road tomorrow could take Leeds above leaders Cardiff City to the top of the Championship. United have not spent 24 hours at the top of England’s second division since Howard Wilkinson’s side won the division in 1990.
“We are not carried away with anything,” said Jansson, who contributed to a fifth successive clean sheet. “That has to be how we think. Tuesday will be tough like Burton would have been if we had not been 100 per cent. We have to respect Birmingham as a good team.
“We respect each other this year and fight hard for each other. At half-time we were 3-0 ahead and came into the dressing room to talk about how to keep another clean sheet. We were 100 per cent and that is why we won.”