AS Roma sign Rasmus Kristensen: How Leeds United loanee can move on from season to forget

After a difficult season with Leeds United, culminating in relegation from the Premier League, defender Rasmus Kristensen is looking for a fresh start at AS Roma.

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AS Roma have confirmed the signing of fullback Rasmus Kristensen on a season-long loan from Leeds United, with the defender joining teammate Diego Llorente in moving to the capital club from Elland Road.

The Denmark international was confirmed as a new Roma player on Friday after the Serie A outfit stepped up negotiations and Kristensen completed a medical to become the fourth signing of the summer, after Llorente, Houssam Aouar, and Evan Ndicka.

After suffering relegation with Leeds from the Premier League in May, Kristensen was gearing up for a promotion push in the Championship but was left out of coach Daniel Farke‘s squad for a pre-season friendly against Manchester United in Oslo on Wednesday.

Kristensen’s Leeds struggles

Billed as a Viking warrior upon his arrival from Red Bull Salzburg last summer, that moniker was dispelled within 10 minutes of his Leeds debut against Wolverhampton Wanderers, as Kristensen misread a tame lofted pass and was outmuscled to allow Hwang Hee-chan to score.

Sadly for Leeds fans, the blunder was a sign of things to come with Kristensen struggling to keep up with the pace of the Premier League, and showing an alarming lack of defensive discipline when bombarding forward on the right.

The 26-year-old lost his place in the team as Leeds struggled following the World Cup break, but an injury crisis at centre-back saw Kristensen offered a chance of redemption in the middle of the defence.

Moving into a more central role after coach Jesse Marsch, who had worked with him in Austria, was sacked, Kristensen showed greater solidity and found his rhythm at the back.

Rasmus Kristensen in training with Leeds United (@LUFC)

What can Kristensen bring to Roma?

Limited to just 26 Premier League appearances as his form fluctuated, Kristensen was unable to prevent the Whites from suffering a final-day relegation but will be hoping for further opportunities at Roma.

With the Giallorossi operating with wing-backs, Kristensen may be afforded more room to attack than in a flat back four at Leeds. The Dane certainly showed his offensive prowess at Salzburg as he netted seven goals and laid on four assists in 2021/22.

Despite making amends with Jose Mourinho after a public falling out last season, Rick Karsdorp is facing an uncertain future at Roma this summer and Kristensen has been brought in as replacement for the Dutchman.

Roma enjoyed the fourth-best defensive record in Serie A last season, and with Chris Smalling and Gianluca Mancini marshalling the back line, Kristensen should have less pressure to cover at the back.

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