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The sale of Pontus Jansson could see Leeds struggle on the opening day

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

Pontus Jansson looks to be on his way out of Elland Road after Phil Hay confirmed on his Twitter account on Saturday that a £5.5m exit is on the cards, with Brentford his likely destination.

If he does indeed leave, then the Whites will be significantly weaker at the back, as they would be losing a defender who made it into the PFA Championship Team of the Year for 2018/19.

Indeed, Jansson’s absence would be felt throughout the season, but it may crucially affect the Whites’ opening match of the campaign away at Bristol City.

Jansson’s importance

It’s almost impossible to deny how important the 6 ft 4 Swede is to Marcelo Bielsa’s side. He played 39 league games for the Whites last term, and his absence in the playoff semi-finals was felt as Leeds conceded four goals at home to Derby.

He’s been a key man for the Whites since his arrival in 2016 playing in 125 league matches in three seasons, but it may be time for him to move on.

Opening day woes

If Jansson left and Leeds didn’t sign a replacement, then the obvious choice to step in would be Gaetano Berardi.

Unfortunately for the Whites, the Swiss centre-back was sent off in the playoff semi-final last term so he will miss the opening day of this season through suspension.

Kalvin Phillips also played at centre-back at times last season, but he may be at Aston Villa by the time Leeds travel to Ashton Gate.

That means that Ben White may be thrown in the deep end and be asked to start alongside Liam Cooper against the Robins.

White has no Championship experience and if his debut is a start against a side who finished eighth last season, he would need to hit the ground running instantly.

Lee Johnson’s men remain one of the stronger teams in the division, and if Leeds line up with a shaky backline they could easily cause them problems.

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Of course, the Whites could sign a replacement for Jansson, but he could undergo the same issues as the Brighton loanee. Unless they have Championship experience they could have trouble acclimatising to this division, and as the clock ticks down towards the start of the campaign, Bielsa would be running out of time to teach him how to work in his system.

If Jansson goes, Leeds could be in real trouble on the opening day.

Article title: The sale of Pontus Jansson could see Leeds struggle on the opening day

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