Pontus Jansson wants to go to the Premier League and said as much to a Swedish media outlet. Jansson is one of the most popular players at Leeds United and has been a key member of the team for the past two seasons. He’s probably the player that would garner the biggest transfer fee, and he’s going to the World Cup with Sweden. So does this mean that Jansson will be introduced at the London Stadium or St. Mary’s? Not so fast.
Anytime a player, and especially Pontus Jansson, gives an interview that isn’t in English and isn’t to one of the local press, Leeds fans tend to get a little nervous. After all, there are plenty of examples that Leeds fans can point to over the past 16 years of players that seem happy that suddenly leave for other teams when wads of cash are dangled in front of them or the current Leeds chairman.
More from Jansson in the Swedish media. Says he's aware of interest in him, wants to stay in England but will leave questions about his future until after the World Cup:https://t.co/je7jOqpHHo— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) June 4, 2018
Pontus at it again: "There is interest. All I know is that I’m going to stay in England. It will be a lot for me to leave England. I really enjoy Leeds. But I want to see their ambitions, now is the time to get into the Premier League." #lufc— Joe Urquhart (@JoeUrquhartYEP) June 4, 2018
However, taken at face value, nothing Jansson’s saying is necessarily that controversial. He wants to play in the Premier League and he likes playing at Leeds. He wants to see the ambition of the team, and who can blame him? The season started out with dreams of another shot at the playoffs, and ended with a slide down the table and only four league wins in 2018. He signed a fairly long-term contract at Leeds and sounds like he wants to be playing in the Premier League for Leeds. However, if Leeds aren’t willing to invest then maybe Jansson doesn’t want to be at Elland Road, and who can blame him for that?
Part of the job of a head coach or a Director of Football is to sell the vision of the club to the players to get them to come to the team or sign long contracts. Even the owner of the club, Andrea Radrizzani, needs to sell the vision and ambition of the club to get people to go to matches. So the idea that Jansson would want to see just how “ambitious” Leeds are before turning down offers to play elsewhere isn’t earth-shattering.
In fact, most of the squad at Leeds would love to play in the Premier League. This isn’t a secret. And quite frankly, would anyone want a bunch of players without ambition to be playing at the club?
If Jansson had said he was happy with everything at Leeds last season, that everything went to plan and was just fine, he’d be absolutely torn apart on social media. It’s okay to be ambitious and want to get to the Premier League, and fans would be rightfully upset if players said otherwise.
If Radrizzani, Orta, and Kinnear are ambitious and at least attempt to learn from last year’s mistakes, then Jansson (and everyone else at the club) will feel like the club is at least trying to get promoted, rather than paying lip service. After all, certain past owners talked about ambition while alienating young players and then selling them for below market value. The proof is in the pudding, and this summer is key for the Leeds board to keep both players and fans happy with the progress and ambition of the club.