Javi Gracia has suggested that Rasmus Kristensen is an example to his Leeds United teammates, after the right-back was left out of the Denmark squad for the upcoming international break.

It has been a disappointing time for Kristensen. He has struggled to live up to expectations following his £10 million summer move to Elland Road.

Gracia Kristensen
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Initially, the Dane was Jesse Marsch’s first-choice right-back. And he did have some decent moments in the side. However, it is probably fair to say that he has never been able to fully convince his doubters that he is a long-term successor for Luke Ayling.

Gracia praises Kristensen

In fact, Ayling has regained his spot over the last couple of months. And he certainly appears to be the best performing player in that position.

Gracia Kristensen
Photo by Jacques Feeney/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Kristensen’s lack of game-time has resulted in the 25-year-old missing out on the Denmark squad for the break. But Gracia has praised the defender for everything he brings to the squad.

“I understand perfectly, you have to be disappointed but, at the same time, I have to tell you his attitude is an example for other players,” he said.

“Always smiling, always trying to help the team. When we played Fulham and didn’t have centre-backs, he was the first to offer. He said ‘I will do it, I only have one target, that is to help the team.’

“It is something I value and I want everyone to know how professional he is.”

Of course, we would rather Kristensen did prove to be an inspired signing. But it is too soon to write him off – surely Junior Firpo on the opposite flank proves that.

He has had some colossal performances. And you can understand why the club felt that he would become a cult-hero following his switch to Leeds.

It is encouraging to know that he is not sulking about his position in the side. We need everyone pushing each other if we are going to get out of trouble.

Kristensen may still have a role to play this season. And it is fair to say that he is a lot better than he has been for us so far.

Hopefully, we see a lot more of that player should he feature in the weeks ahead.

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