The Athletic’s Phil Hay has admitted that he is slightly surprised by how poor Rasmus Kristensen has been in Leeds United’s opening two games of the season.
It has been a very busy summer at Elland Road on the incoming and outgoing fronts, with seven new players arriving thus far and 10 players having exited, including the high-profile departures of Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha.
With Leeds having started the season unbeaten under Jesse Marsch, it appears that his new signings are making a big impact already. However, Kristensen, who was signed from RB Salzburg, was partly at fault for the goal conceded against Wolves, and Hay certainly hasn’t been left impressed by the Denmark international.
Hay admits that he is slightly surprised by Kristensen’s start to life as a Leeds player and explained why on The Phil Hay Show.
He said: “I think he’s had two difficult games, I can’t disagree with that at all – and it is a surprise to me. I felt and I said a couple of times that signing him for £10m or thereabouts seemed like a no-brainer in the sense that he’d had a good pedigree, he’d had a good reputation at Salzburg; analysis of his game seems to find a lot of strengths in it and cast him as a pretty capable and a good right-back.
Are you worried by Kristensen's performances?
“But he’s found his positioning a challenge. I think a lot of people were surprised at the Wolves goal, how easily he was brushed off the ball for that, because he has this hardcore demeanour about him, doesn’t he? He looks like what you’d call a kind of classic hardman, he looks like somebody who could easily be a crowd favourite, a bit of a cult hero – definitely got that streak in him.
“But it’s been tougher for him to settle than it has for somebody like Tyler Adams, somebody like Marc Roca, Aaronson, others on the pitch. It is, at the moment, a position of weakness for Leeds – both on the right and the left-hand side.”
TIF Thoughts on Kristensen…
While Hay may be surprised at how Kristensen has been this season, he did only cost them £10m, so perhaps shouldn’t have exactly expected him to set the world alight immediately, while according to WhoScored, he’s recorded a steady 6.65 match rating – the eighth-best in the squad.
Something else that may be impacting Kristensen is that he has no competition in the right-back position, with Luke Ayling still not back in the first-team picture, so perhaps when he has someone pushing him for the starting spot, his level of performance may sharply improve to ensure he doesn’t get relegated to the bench.