Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa has admitted that Pontus Jansson was the club’s nest player last season but the Elland Road outfit will not necessarily sign a replacement before the transfer window closes.
The Whites have had financial issues to deal with this summer and as a result the Sweden international was offloaded to Championship rivals Brentford.
Some Leeds fans will be rightly concerned that a replacement has yet to be signed, with less than a week to go before the close of the transfer window.
The Yorkshire giants have secured a deal to bring Ben White to the club, while other players can operate at centre-half if needed.
Bielsa has praised Jansson’s impact last season but stated that Leeds are not necessarily going to replace him before the window closes.
“Jansson left, everyone knows. Jansson was the best player last season,” the South American told Leeds Live.
“You know the club needs to sell two players to adapt to FFP for the health of the club and that the league is equal.
“We have two players, Kalvin and Ayling who can play centre-back. Berardi and Cooper too, obviously. Ben White can develop a lot during this season.
“At the same time if Ayling plays like a centre-back you have [Stuart] Dallas and [Jamie] Shackleton to cover and in the same time if Kalvin plays at centre-back, [Adam] Forshaw can play as a defensive midfielder.
“So, we lose the best player of last season, but we are adapting to the rules and that is very important. I’m very optimistic about how to solve the problem.”
While Bielsa is correct and Leeds have other players to deputise, losing someone of Jansson’s stature is clearly a blow for the Yorkshire outfit.
With the club coming agonisingly close to promotion last season and hoping to go one step better in 2019-20, sorting out the Whites’ backline will be a big task for the Argentine trainer.
Much of the responsibility of commanding the defence will fall at the feet of Liam Cooper – a player that Leeds fans have had contrasting views on in the past.