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Leeds may be missing Pontus Jansson as their set-piece struggles continue

This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more… 

There aren’t many bad things you can say about Leeds United’s defence this season.

Indeed, the Whites have been pretty much impeccable at the back as they’ve conceded just nine goals in 16 league matches this term.

However, their game against Blackburn Rovers on Saturday highlighted one area that they need to improve in, and that may involve getting a different type of defender.

Was Helder Costa a waste of money?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Set-piece troubles

A staggering 44% of the goals conceded by Leeds this season have come from set-pieces. That number may be hard to believe, but it’s true as four of the nine goals they’ve let in have come from dead-ball situations, including Blackburn’s strike on Saturday.

This really is the only time that Leeds’ defensive acumen isn’t in play as these phases are usually just a physical battle between individuals.

That’s the only minor issue you can point at in Leeds’ backline, they simply don’t have a towering centre-back to deal with these issues.

In fact, Leeds’ tallest defender is Liam Cooper standing at 6 foot 2, so it’s clear to see that the Yorkshire outfit don’t really have a towering defender in their armoury.

Someone like Jansson

If only there were a 6 foot 4 centre-half who United could call upon, perhaps a player with enough talent to make it into the Championship Team of the Season.

Of course, we’re alluding to Pontus Jansson, and although Leeds’ defence has been impenetrable at times this season, it’s hard to say that they aren’t missing the Swede in these situations.

Indeed, Jansson has been a defensive juggernaut in the air as he won 4.9 aerial duels per game during his last season at Elland Road. On top of that, he’s won 3.6 in 2019/20.

Now, we’re not suggesting that Leeds should bring the £5.4m-rated Jansson back, but having a taller option at the back, especially when playing as a back three is certainly something that United should look at in January.

With margin for error incredibly tight in this division, it could well be something that ensures they don’t drop off like they did last campaign.

Article title: Leeds may be missing Pontus Jansson as their set-piece struggles continue

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