Leeds United: Sweden star Jansson back to stake United claim

Pontus Jansson.
Pontus Jansson.
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Pontus Jansson will return to training with Leeds United this week and start his preparation for the beginning of the new Championship season.

The defender is due back at Thorp Arch in the next few days having been given a fortnight to recuperate after his time at the World Cup with Sweden.

Jansson played twice in Russia, including a start in Sweden’s opening group game against South Korea, and was part of a squad who reached the quarter-finals before losing 2-0 to England in Samara on June 17.

His appearance at the World Cup and the break that followed it have seen Jansson – one of only two senior and recognised central defenders at Elland Road, alongside Liam Cooper – miss four weeks of pre-season training under new United head coach Marcelo Bielsa.

He has also been absent from three of the club’s friendlies to date and was not expected to take part in tonight’s game at Oxford United but Bielsa will look to bring Jansson up to speed with the club closing in on their first Championship game at home to Gary Rowett’s Stoke City on August 5.

Jansson was linked with a move away from Leeds earlier in the summer but he talked up the appointment of Bielsa in the Swedish media last week, saying: “I think he will benefit my personal development.

“As a team, Leeds needs a hard coach, I myself had coaches of that kind in Italy (when Jansson played for Torino). It’s a completely different mentality that I really like.”