Throughout the 2022/2023 season, Roma’s biggest issue as a squad was lack of depth. Because the club found success going deep in the Europa League and because of unavoidable injury issues, the Giallorossi found it challenging to compete on multiple fronts against sides who were deeper or who had simply flunked out of Europe far sooner. This is what held the Giallorossi back from Champions League football, more than the flubbed penalties in the Europa League Final, more than fewer goals than expected from Tammy Abraham and Andrea Belotti.
For a club that only just avoided running afoul of Financial Fair Play without selling a first team stalwart, the quest to find more non-Primavera academy graduate depth to fill out the squad was always going to be a challenge. Roma’s budget is tight; it can’t simply build two starting elevens of equal quality like a Manchester City or a Real Madrid. Despite this, Tiago Pinto has done an excellent job this summer finding free agents and loan moves to shore up the Giallorossi’s depth; signings like Evan Ndicka, Houssem Aouar, and Diego Llorente are exactly what José Mourinho needs to feel comfortable advancing in multiple competitions simultaneously. Today, with the signing of defender Rasmus Kristensen from Leeds United, Roma completed yet another long-rumored loan signing to further build out Roma’s depth.
| Rasmus Kristensen— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) July 14, 2023
The club is delighted to confirm the signing of the versatile Danish defender!
Meanwhile, the global search for missing children continues. #ASRoma | @ICMEC_official pic.twitter.com/BlzTG44fS2
Kristensen is the second Leeds United player to join Roma this summer on loan, as he follows In the footsteps of Diego Llorente in departing from the relegated Peacocks. Similar to Llorente’s move, Kristensen arrives without a confirmed option to buy, but one has to imagine that if Leeds United are unable to return to the Premier League for the 2024/2025 season, they will become more and more amenable to a lower fee for both Llorente and Kristensen - if the Giallorossi wish to make their moves to Rome permanent, that is.
Here’s the official press release announcing Kristensen’s signing, including statements from General Manager Tiago Pinto and Kristensen himself:
AS Roma is delighted to announce the signing of Rasmus Kristensen on a loan deal from Leeds United until 30 June 2024.
“I’m proud to be part of this great club – you can feel the history as soon as you walk in here,” Kristensen commented.
“Roma’s European success in recent years made me want to play for this club even more. I can’t wait to have my every day life here.”
The Danish right-back, 26, made his professional debut for Midtjylland, then moved to Ajax for a season. In 2018 he joined Salzburg and spent three years in Austria, before signing for Leeds United last summer.
“Rasmus is a player we’ve been tracking for a long time, even before he joined Leeds, and now we finally have the chance to bring him to Rome,” said Tiago Pinto, AS Roma General Manager, Football.
“He has accumulated a great deal of experience despite his young age. We’re convinced that he will boost our defensive options and make our squad even stronger.”
Welcome to Roma, Rasmus!
While Roma are certainly not done in the transfer market, there is a sense that the club is getting closer to having a completed squad. Kristensen’s signing reportedly leaves Mourinho requesting four more moves: two attackers, a midfielder, and a right winger. As negotiations continue for Gianluca Scamacca, Alvaro Morata, Daichi Kamada, and Adama Traoré, Chiesa di Totti will keep you posted on if and when any of those rumored signings become official. Until then, welcome Rasmus!