Leeds United are interested in a deal to bring Max Aarons to Elland Road in the summer transfer window.
That’s according to a recent report by TEAMtalk, who claim that, following Norwich City’s relegation from the Premier League, Dean Smith’s side are now preparing for the departure of the right-back – who is reported to be available for a figure in the region of £20m.
The report goes on to state that Leeds United, Arsenal, Crystal Palace, Fulham, Leicester City, Manchester City and Manchester United are all keen on a move for the England U21 international, with Victor Orta believed to have already made contact with the Canaries regarding a deal for the defender.
While it is true that Norwich endured something of a nightmare campaign in the Premier League this term – finishing bottom of the table on a mere 22 points, conceding a league-high 84 goals and winning just five games all season – this by no stretch of the imagination truly reflects Aarons’ ability at the back.
Despite playing for the worst team in the division in both 2019/20 and 2021/22, the £19.8m-rated talent has still managed to develop a reputation as one of “one of the best young players” in the top flight of English football – in the words of his former manager, Daniel Farke.
Indeed, over his 70 Premier League appearances, the £17k-per-week right-back has highly impressed for the Canaries, helping his side keep nine clean sheets, registering three assists and creating nine big chances for his teammates, as well as taking an average of 0.4 shots, making 0.6 key passes and completing 1.2 dribbles per game.
Furthermore, according to FBref data, the 22-year-old ranks in the top 4% of full-backs in Europe’s big five leagues for blocks per 90 mins, as well as the top 29% for progressive carries, the top 25% for dribbles, the top 44% for pressures and the top 39% for clearances over the last 365 days.
As such, considering Aarons has achieved these metrics while playing for a side that have conceded the most and scored the fewest goals in each of their last two Premier League campaigns, the prospect of the player who Breaking The Lines journalist Tom Quartly compared to Kyle Walker lining up on the right of a competent backline is certainly an incredibly exciting one.
Indeed, if the youngster is available for a figure of just £20m this summer, Orta simply must do everything in his power to win the race for the “unbelievable” Aarons, as the England youth international could well prove that, in a better side, he can go on to develop into the next Walker.