Leeds United has started the summer transfer window on the front foot with the signing of Rasmus Kristensen from Red Bull Salzburg. This marks the second occasion in the last fortnight that Leeds has raided the Austrian champions for one of their players. United States International midfielder Brenden Aaronson joined from RB Salzburg a short time ago. Being reluctant in the January transfer window last season almost saw Leeds United relegated, so it is a positive step that they have increased their transfer activity early this Summer. It is believed that Leeds have agreed to pay around £10 million for Kristensen and that the player has signed a five-year deal.
Who is Rasmus Kristensen?
Kristensen is a 24-year-old Danish international right back. Unlike many modern full-backs, Kristensen is most notable for his defensive solidity. His ability to time challenges and position himself properly to make key tackles is a feature that stood out during RB Salzburg’s Champions League campaign. The defender averaged 4.6 successful tackles a game in the tournament. That was more than any other player. Based on this, it is not surprising that Kristensen also scored high in the number of duels won per 90 minutes played with 9.13. That was the 7th highest in the Champions League last season. Offensively, Kristensen doesn’t offer much in terms of assists, but he does have a calm head while on the ball and is comfortable moving possession up the field to more technical teammates rather than attempting more risky moves. The Danish international is quick and athletic, so will likely adapt quickly to the physical demands of the Premier League. In many respects, Rasmus Kristensen is comparable to Manchester United full-back Aaron Wan Bissaka. Both are fast and defensively excellent full-backs that lack attacking flair in the final third. They differ when it comes to ariel ability, with Kristensen standing at 1.87m (6ft 2in), he is tall for a full-back and is very good at winning defensive headers. This will work in Leeds’s favor as the high-pressing side are vulnerable to balls coming in over the top of their defensive line.
How Does Kristensen Fit in at Leeds?
Kristensen is a player that Jesse Marsch knows well from his time at RB Salzburg and will know exactly what the Danish International can bring to his side going forward. From his time at the Austrian champions, Kristensen will be used to playing in Leeds’s high-intensity pressing style. Alongside his physical attributes, this will help him settle quickly in the Premier League. Leeds United currently lack quality depth when it comes to the right-back position, and they will hope that Kristensen can bring that to the side. Vice-Captain Luke Ayling is the current preferred player in that position, but, he missed 11 games through injury last season. Versatile winger Stuart Dallas has moved into the right-back position in the absence of Ayling at times this season but was unable to impact the game as he normally would from the position. Strength in depth was a problem for Leeds last season and it is a very positive sign for them that Jesse Marsch has recognized this and made fixing it a top priority.
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