Out of favour Leeds United man forces manager rethink after immediate impact and initial snub
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The Whites man scored his first goal for Leeds last weekend in the 4-2 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux, finding the back of the net a mere 23 seconds after coming off the bench.
Kristensen won possession in the Wolves penalty area before gliding past Max Kilman and slotting underneath Jose Sa to give United a three-goal lead on Saturday afternoon.
As a result, the 25-year-old has been called up to the Danish national team by head coach Kasper Hjulmand despite initially missing out on this latest camp.
Earlier in the week, Hjulmand had selected his 23-man squad to face Finland and Kazakhstan in European Championships qualifying. Kristensen had initially been omitted with uncapped 19-year-old right-back Elias Jelert picked instead, along with national team stalwart Joakim Maehle.
However, since Kristensen’s return to the pitch last weekend, Hjulmand has reconsidered and chosen to summon the Leeds full-back to Helsingor where the national team will meet.
Kristensen began the season as Leeds’ first-choice right-back but since the turn of the year has lost out to Luke Ayling, making just two league appearances in 2023.
“[I’m] especially happy for him as I said before,” Javi Gracia said following Leeds’ win at the weekend. “Ras deserved that reward because he's always working, with a smile on his face, he's always trying to help the rest of the players, rest of the team. It's something like a manager you are happy with these kind of players, they are very generous and always thinking of the team,” the head coach added.
Gracia expects to have just nine players available to him for the team’s next training session at Thorp Arch as several members of his squad head off on international duty. Meanwhile, remaining members of the team are to be granted a few days additional leave to rest and recuperate during the break from domestic football.