Leeds left it late to grab an equaliser against a stern Nottingham Forest on Saturday evening, and Pontus Jansson showed once again why he is the club’s most important asset.
Earning automatic promotion from the Championship is undoubtedly one of the toughest tasks in football, but it helps if you have a colossal centre-half.
Sol Bamba and Willy Boly were formidable for their respective sides last season, while the likes of Newcastle’s Jamaal Lascelles and Brighton’s Lewis Dunk were fantastic the season before.
Leeds now have their own version of these dominant defenders, as Jansson is showing the form that endeared him to the fans at Elland Road two seasons ago.
The Swedish international was superb during his loan spell from Torino, but his permanent move last summer was followed by a spate of niggling injuries and dips in form.
The 27-year-old is back to his best this season though, and was practically flawless against Forest on Saturday.
Jansson sometimes gets a reputation as a classic brute of a centre-half, but he completed 92 per cent of his passes during the 1-1 draw, and even created one chance with a key pass.
Not only has his technical skill skyrocketed since the arrival of Marcelo Bielsa, his calmness and composure when defending has helped him iron out the creases in his game.
He made three tackles, two interceptions and won three aerial duels during Saturday’s draw, and one has to suspect those numbers would be an awful lot higher if the Whites hadn’t have dominated the match.
Leeds fans are already eyeing up transfer moves for players like Ibai Gomez, but keeping Jansson will be the best piece of business they can possibly do in January.
He has come under some controversy in recent weeks for his comments about referee Jeremy Simpson, but the club must reject absolutely any offers that come in from the Premier League in January, no matter the price.
So, Leeds fans, how impressive has Jansson been this season? Is he the key to your promotion hopes? Let us know your thoughts by voting in the poll below…