That Leeds United managed to maintain their play-off bid as long as they did is testament to the ever-consistent performances of one of the league’s best defensive partnerships – Kyle Bartley and Pontus Jansson.
However, manager Garry Monk appears to be facing up to the prospect of not one but both of his backline giants moving elsewhere this summer. Bartley will return to parent club Swansea City and has interest from a number of Premier League sides, as reported by The Sun.
Meanwhile, the newspaper adds that Jansson is Southampton’s top target if Virgil Van Dijk leaves in the summer – despite the Swede agreeing to turn his loan from Torino into a permanent deal.
Therefore, you wonder whether Monk may be tempted to keep tabs on towering, 6ft 4ins Dutchman Tom Beugelsdijk. The Daily Mail reported last summer that Monk sent scouts to watch the no-nonsense bruiser in action for Eredivisie outfit ADO Den Haag.
And with The Hague club stumbling at the wrong end of the table, Beugelsdijk may just have piqued Leeds’ interest by warning ADO that their failure to secure survival could pave the way for his exit.
Leeds United manager Gary Monk
“I’m curious, but I need to know what they are doing,” Beugelsdijk is quoted as saying by Algemeen Dagblad. “They (the club) need to sort this out themselves.
“I also need to look at next year. I do not want to play in the Jupiler League [Dutch second division].”
Fortunately for ADO, however, their solid end to the season means their hopes of hanging onto Beugelsdijk may have been given a boost.
A 4-1 battering of Excelsior on the final day of the league season means ADO finished a healthy 11th place, albeit just four points clear of the relegation play-off spot. Beugelsdijk, who wears his heart on his sleeve and is clearly passionate about his club, will not be playing in the Jupiler League next season after all.
However, the problem for Leeds is that he may be a little less receptive to plying his trade in the Championship too.