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Leeds: Brenden Aaronson is their new “pressing machine”

This summer was always going to be one of change for Leeds United after surviving relegation by the skin of their teeth last term.

Players were going to come and go during Jesse Marsch’s first transfer window in charge but it’s arguably their most exciting signing who is proving to be the biggest joy to watch so far.

When Raphinha left Leeds it would have had many around Elland Road fearful for how the season could play out, especially with Patrick Bamford still not up to speed from a fitness point of view.

However, club-record signing Rodrigo has finally come to life, scoring four in his first three games, and his new partner in crime, Brenden Aaronson has also come to the party early on.

He was cruelly robbed of a goal on the opening weekend as it went down as an own goal but during the club’s famous 3-0 win over Chelsea on Sunday was a lot more fortunate.

The American was one of the stars during a remarkable victory and it was the attacking midfielder who opened the scoring.

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He harried Edouard Mendy in the Chelsea goal before robbing him of the ball and tapping it into an empty net. It will be the easiest goal during his Leeds career but arguably, he will never work harder for one either. It was the epitome of not only his style of play, but also the clubs.

It was a first Leeds goal for Aaronson and he didn’t stop there, as he won four defensive duels, completed two tackles and registered two key passes, via SofaScore.

He did lose possession of the ball 17 times, but that was indicative of the risks he was taking, rather than a constant stream of misplaced passes.

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Despite finding the back of the net, it was his pressing that caught the eye the most and it wasn’t a surprise to see him working so hard. Indeed, before today’s game, the 21-year-old was only beaten by fellow new signing, Tyler Adams, for distance run by Leeds players this term – 22.2km.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if he racked up another 10km after this mammoth performance, one that drew praise from a plethora of journalists.

Reporter Yaw Ampofo Jr labelled him the “ultimate pressing machine” while the Athletic’s Adam Crafton said he was “completely relentless” in his running.

That appraisal seemed to be a common theme in the media with MLS writer James Nalton saying his “work off the ball is unrivalled.” Fellow Major League Soccer expert Chris Smith, meanwhile, said of Anderson’s game that he was “absolutely everywhere” on his way to making five ball recoveries in the first half alone.

It is a long season and the young American will have to ensure he doesn’t burn out with the rigours of the Premier League in mind. However, he has been a breath of fresh air to this Leeds side and if he continues to put in performances like that, he will quickly become a fan favourite.

It was a relentless display by the entire Leeds team, but Aaronson certainly stands out compared to his teammates.

Article title: Leeds: Brenden Aaronson is their new “pressing machine”

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