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Rasmus Kristensen admits ‘annoying’ consequence of Leeds Utd exit after explaining Roma switch

Rasmus Kristensen at a Roma match

Rasmus Kristensen is on loan at Roma from Leeds

Leeds United loanee Rasmus Kristensen has confessed it is ‘annoying’ that he is not allowed to play for Roma in the Europa League this season – but ‘wasn’t surprised’ they left him out of their squad for the competition.

Due to Financial Fair Play restrictions, Roma were instructed by UEFA to leave two of their summer signings out of their squad list for the Europa League group stage. In addition to striker Sardar Azmoun, who is on loan from Bayer Leverkusen, they opted to omit Kristensen.

Ironically, the decision prompted Roma to block the departure of one of the right-backs Kristensen is competing for a place with, since they suddenly needed Zeki Celik more than they may have realised.

Now, Kristensen has reflected on his ineligible status for the European competition – but also why he understood the decision.

“Of course, I was worn out by that,” Kristensen told TV2 Sport in his native Denmark. “But I understood the rules of Financial Fair Play.

“I wasn’t surprised that it was a right-back they chose. It would have been more controversial to leave out [Romelu] Lukaku.

“He [Roma’s general manager, Tiago Pinto] explained to me that he was sorry, and he understood well if I was angry and disappointed. But that was the way it had to be.

“There’s not much I can do about it. Fortunately, I have played in Serie A matches that have taken place. In that way it has been okay, but of course it is annoying.”

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Kristensen highlights Mourinho factor

After Leeds’ relegation from the Premier League at the end of Kristensen’s debut season, one of the motivations for him leaving for Roma was to work under Jose Mourinho.

“He’s a fantastic coach,” Kristensen confirmed. “That’s one reason why I chose to go to Roma.

“He’s one of the greatest coaches in history who has won everything there is to win. And he has that aura too.

“For me, he’s a coach who is at the very top. So, of course, I wanted to try to work with him. So far, it has been totally cool and educational.”

Kristensen has played seven times so far for Roma. Mourinho preferred Rick Karsdorp at right-back in their last two Serie A matches before the break.

Roma do not have the option to buy Kristensen at the end of his loan spell. The 26-year-old is still under contract with Leeds until 2027 after his move from Red Bull Salzburg in 2022.

In the meantime, Leeds took Djed Spence on loan from Tottenham Hotspur to compete with Luke Ayling in the right-back position this season.