The Denmark international has signed a five-year deal at Elland Road and becomes the club’s second signing of the summer following Brenden Aaronson
Leeds United have completed the signing of Red Bull Salzburg defender Rasmus Kristensen as Jesse Marsch’s Elland Road rebuild continues apace.
The West Yorkshire outfit narrowly avoided relegation from the Premier League in 2021-22, securing their safety on the final day with a win over Brentford, and Marsch has wasted little time in starting work to reshape his squad.
Right-back Kristensen becomes his second new arrival of the summer, with Marsch again raiding former club Salzburg after also bringing in United States international Brenden Aaronson in a £25 million ($31m) deal from the Austrian champions.
How much are Leeds paying to sign Kristensen?
Leeds are set to fork out around £10m ($12.5m) to bring Denmark international Kristensen to Elland Road, with Marsch and director of football Victor Orta clearly happy to splash the cash in a bid to avoid last season’s struggles.
A statement from the Premier League club read: “Leeds United are pleased to announce an agreement has been reached with Red Bull Salzburg for the signing of Rasmus Kristensen, which will be completed on July 1st 2022.
“The Whites have beaten off competition for the 24-year-old, who will join for an undisclosed fee and has accepted terms on a five-year-contract at Elland Road, running until the summer of 2027.”
What is Kristensen’s contract length at Leeds?
After completing his medical in Leeds on Wednesday, Kristensen has signed a five-year contract with Leeds, tying the 24-year-old down until the end of the 2026-27 season.
What did Kristensen say on his transfer to Leeds?
“When I heard about the interest I looked at the project and what was going on and I was never in doubt, I was 100 per cent convinced,” Kristensen told LUTV on his move to the Premier League team.
“It’s a huge historical club which is playing in the best league in the world and for me, it fits everything that I love about a football club.
“I know a lot of things about the club, where I am from, a small village, most of my father’s mates are Leeds fans.
“I want to compete against the best and I will do that here.
“I see myself as a physical, emotional power player, I like to go forward, run up and down the flank and I have a big engine for that.
“I’m a guy who puts 100 per cent effort in every time I’m on the pitch and I’ll die with my boots on.
“It’s been a great few days with the national team, playing games, flying in and out, it’s been busy but good.
“With the national team having four games in the Nations League, it fit in perfectly to come to Leeds in-between the two days with a day off from the national team coach, so I’m pleased and happy that everything is settled and everything is done.”
Leeds coach Jesse Marsch said he is confident that Kristensen will develop even further at the English team.
“Rasmus is a player who developed a lot over the last three years,” he said.
“He established himself at Red Bull Salzburg as one of their best players, a very good Champions League full-back, and a Danish international.
“I am totally convinced that he will continue to grow into a great Premier League full-back as well.”
Meanwhile, director of football Victor Orta revealed that they had to fight off competition from Champions League teams to snap him up.
“Other teams wanted him, including teams playing in the Champions League in the top five leagues, but he wants to prove himself in the best league in the world and this makes me very happy with the signing,” he said.
“His performances at Red Bull Salzburg made him one of the most influential right-backs in Europe and now in the line-up of his country.
“He has a determination to understand the position, he’s physical, demanding, has a high level with the ball and I hope he is a player fans will fall in love with quickly. They demand effort and quality, he has both things and he has chosen us.”
Who is new Leeds signing Rasmus Kristensen?
Kristensen came through the ranks at Danish side FC Midtjylland, making his first-team debut at the age of 18, before he joined Ajax in January 2018.
However, he struggled for regular minutes in Amsterdam, and left Ajax after just a year-and-a-half with the club to join Salzburg ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.
A hamstring injury brought his first season in Austria to a premature close, but he has been a regular in the Salzburg side ever since, and enjoyed the best season of his career to date in 2021-22.
Kristensen contributed 10 goals and eight assists in all competitions for Salzburg last season, while also captaining the side on a number of occasions.
Certainly, Kristensen’s attacking attributes are what make him stand out, though he may need to improve defensively if he is to thrive in the Premier League.
Having made his Denmark debut in September 2021, Kristensen has also become a regular in Kasper Hjulmand’s squad, and is set to represent his country at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Where will Kristensen fit in at Leeds?
Though Leeds are not short of options at right-back, Kristensen will be expected to become first choice in the position, particularly in the early weeks of the campaign.
Luke Ayling is currently recovering from knee surgery and could miss at least the opening month of the season, while Stuart Dallas is unlikely to play again in 2022 after suffering a broken leg against Manchester City in early May.
Youngster Cody Drameh could force his way into contention after being named Cardiff City’s Player of the Season for his impressive showings while on loan in the Championship last season, but is likely to be Kristensen’s back-up, at best, to start the campaign.
Marsch favors a 4-2-2-2 formation, with his full-backs providing most of the attacking width, making Kristensen an ideal candidate to hold down the position even when Ayling returns.
That could mean ex-Arsenal trainee Ayling being moved inside to centre-back, where he has filled in on a number of occasions over the past few seasons.
Who will Leeds sign next after Kristensen?
Despite their fast start to the summer transfer window, Leeds are far from done, with reinforcements still required in a number of positions.
A new striker and central midfielder are said to be high on Marsch’s list of priorities, though much will depend on which players leave Elland Road this summer.
raphinha looks almost certain to depart, with Barcelona fighting hard to bring the Brazil international to Camp Nou, though the Blaugrana’s much-publicized financial issues are not helping the situation despite having agreed personal terms.
Liverpool have also been linked with the ex-Rennes winger, while Kalvin Phillips has also been tipped to leave Leeds, with Manchester United and Manchester City both thought to be keen on the England midfielder.