Is Max Aarons ready for a big money move?
Background Image: Pommes104, CC BY-SA 3.0
Norwich City and England U21 fullback Max Aarons reportedly attracts interest from as many as four Premier League clubs in the January transfer window after his stellar start to life in the top flight. Arsenal and Tottenham are said to be leading the chase with West Ham, Everton and Borussia Dortmund also lurking in the weeds. Can Norwich afford to sell the young star? Can they afford to keep him?
According to various media outlets, £30 million would be enough to prise the 20-year-old away from the Canaries' clutches. Such is his importance to Daniel Farke, it would be a blow for Norwich to lose him as they fight to escape relegation. After helping the club to promotion from the Championship last campaign, he is sparkling in his debut Premier League season. While Teemu Pukki supplies the goals and Emiliano Buendia supplies Pukki, Aarons' energy and enthusiasm inspire the side.
According to Sky Sources, Tottenham remain increasingly interested in his services. Mauricio Pochettino wanted him following Kieran Trippier's sale to Atletico Madrid but a deal did not materialise. Apparently, Jose Mourinho shares that interest. While the Portuguese boss left Manchester United before Aaron Wan-Bissaka's arrival, it should be noted that the budding Norwich star's numbers in buildup [Understat] compare favourably to his counterpart at Old Trafford.
Aarons moved to Norwich from Luton Town in 2016 and signed his three-year professional contract at the age of 18. Since then, he's become the hallmark of everything good at Carrow Road.
Named the Young Player of the Season last season while making the Championship's team of the season, the right-back delivered three goals and six assists in 43 appearances for the Canaries. He hasn't opened his account on either side of the ledger in the Premier League but contributes in other ways. With 0.89 key passes and 0.58 shots per 90 [Understat], the other numbers should come his way sooner than later.
Admittedly, he struggles to match Wan-Bissaka defensively. That was never more evident than when Marcus Rashford turned him inside-out at Carrow Road earlier in the campaign. This weekend's trip to Old Trafford offers the opportunity to right that wrong and there is evidence he can. Against Crystal Palace on New Years Day, Aarons handled the responsibility of marking Wilfried Zaha, proving he has what it takes to become one of the best at his position.
Aarons’ combination of speed, power and trickery mark him out despite his small frame. While the end product hasn't been there, he hasn't given up, continuing to take on defenders to either whip in crosses or penetrate the box himself.
There’s no reason why Aarons cannot take the next step in his fledgling career and become a student of Jose Mourinho at Tottenham Hotspur, a club which allows young players like Aarons to flourish. Certainly, the Special One will work to improve his defensive contribution. Given Norwich's predicament, however, any deal is likely to be made with the provision the youngster remains at Carrow Road through to season's end.
Whether or not Norwich survive, there's sufficient reason to believe Max Aarons will be plying his trade in the Premier League for years to come.