Having missed Leeds United’s last Premier League fixture – a 5-2 defeat at Brentford – due to a training ground injury, both Jesse Marsch and Whites supporters will undoubtedly have been worried about Rasmus Kristensen aggravating his knock on international duty with Denmark ahead of the return of club football next month.
However, after coming on as a second-half substitute in the 2-1 defeat to Croatia last Thursday, the right-back was selected from the off against France on Sunday evening – a fixture in which the defender not only proved he is back to full fitness but also turned in a sensational performance against Les Blues, something that is sure to have delighted Marsch.
Indeed, despite facing a stern test against a front three of Kylian Mbappe, Olivier Giroud and Antoine Griezmann – who have a combined market valuation of £212m – the Leeds full-back played a starring role as the Danes rather remarkably ran out 2-0 winners over the reigning world champions.
Over the course of his 89 minutes on the pitch, the £18m-rated defender was a rock at the back, making five tackles, three interceptions and five clearances, as well as winning five of his nine duels – at a success rate of 56%.
The 25-year-old also impressed in possession, enjoying 81 touches of the ball – the joint third-most of any player to feature in the match – as well as completing 53 of his 59 attempted passes – a success rate of 90% – and finding his man with both of his two attempted long balls.
These returns not only saw the former Red Bull Salzburg star earn an extremely impressive SofaScore match rating of 7.5 – the joint fourth-best of any player on the night – but also saw James Marschment label the right-back “superb” against France.
As such, while it is true that Luke Ayling impressed when being brought on against Brentford last time out, Kristensen’s display on Sunday simply must see the Danish sensation be handed a start against Aston Villa next Monday – as keeping Mbappe, Giroud and Griezmann quiet is certainly no mean feat.