Surprised Leeds star admits he has to ‘accept’ brutal reality, but tips exciting Jesse Marsch progress

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Rasmus Kristensen, Pascal Struijk, August 2022 Credit: PA Images
Rasmus Kristensen, Pascal Struijk, August 2022 Credit: PA Images

Rasmus Kristensen has admitted that the intensity of the Premier League has taken him by surprise following his summer move from Austria.

The Whites signed the right-back from RB Salzburg as a key recruit for manager Jesse Marsch. The former RB Leipzig boss wanted players who fitted his style of play and subsequently looked no further than the Red Bull football stable.

Still, some of the Leeds recruits signed from Red Bull clubs – namely Brenden Aaronson – have adapted better than Kristensen.

The Danish right-back scored 10 goals and assisted eight others in 45 appearances for Salzburg last season. However, he has failed to register any such contributions so far for Leeds.

Kristensen has nevertheless made the current Denmark squad and spoke to B.T. about his Elland Road tenure so far. He claimed that while he is struggling to get to grips with the English top flight, he is backing himself to improve.

“You hang on tooth and nail to be able to keep up and it moves you,” Kristensen said.

“I can also feel that on myself just from match one to match five. There has already been progress and it will get better and better.”

Kristensen noted that he felt he was a “leader in terms of physique and intensity” at Salzburg. He added, though, that the Premier League feels like a “completely different level”.

Rasmus Kristensen still adapting at Leeds

“It has also been a challenge for me to have to accept it,” he said.

“I felt I was well prepared for it, but it’s something else when you stand there. So it’s been great to get started and find my place in it.”

Kristensen did not make the squad for Leeds’ last game, the 5-2 defeat at Brentford.

He said: “I’m completely ready. The last Leeds game was over two weeks ago, so I am completely ready.”

Kristensen, 25, has eight Denmark caps to his name. Aside from missing the Brentford defeat, he has played every Premier League minute this season.

The full-back featured heavily for his country in the Nations League earlier this year and will be looking to impress in the competition again in the current international break.

Further down the line, Kristensen will have his eyes on Denmark’s World Cup clashes with Tunisia, Denmark and Australia.

Marsch needs to inspire new signing

Leeds boss Marsch has brought out exciting signs from new signings Aaronson and Luis Sinisterra in particular.

The former announced himself with a goal against Chelsea in the 3-0 win over the Blues at Elland Road.

Winger Sinisterra, meanwhile, has followed up his debut Leeds goal against Barnsley in the Carabao Cup with two Premier League strikes.

However, Kristensen is yet to follow suit and there are obvious concerns from Leeds fans.

Full-back was a concern for the Whites this summer, with left-back talked about a lot as an area in which to strengthen.

Still, the focus has been on right-back and what Kristensen has – or has not – done in a Leeds shirt.

Marsch has to hope that the full-back can come back fresh from the international break and ready to find his top form again.

READ MORE: Kristensen explains how ‘incredible’ Brenden Aaronson can revolutionise Leeds under Jesse Marsch

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