English football

Tackling the machine with a slightly different story – ENGLISH FOOTBALL

by: Adam Smith


Max Aarons is obviously a candidate to succeed Hakimi at the BVB. The Norwich defender has taken an unconventional route.

Harry Maguire, defender of 87 million euros? Not. Leicester’s shooting star, Caglar Soyoncô? It is not either. But surely the runner-up of the last Ballon d’Or, Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool FC? He didn’t either! The most spectacular and most effective tackle machine in the English Premier League is a young Man from Norwich City!

Strong Opta Max Aarons of the East of England leads the list with 76.92 percent tackles (at least 20 appearances). But who is the young Englishman who is not only said to be on the list at Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal, but has also recently been traded to Borussia Dortmund as the successor to Achraf Hakimi?

Aaron’s career is unusual for a modern footballer. At the age of nine, he joined Luton Town. At the time of 14 years, however, he decided that he wanted to take the next step in his development.

Max Aarons has nearly played for any club for almost two years

“Luton offered me a new contract at the time, but I wanted to go to a high-level youth academy where players have more training opportunities,” Aarons recalled in an interview with the Guardian“I was training at Tottenham, but it didn’t work out.”

But Luton was disappointed, withdrawing the offer, which is why Aarons suddenly went without a club. Saul Isaksson-Hurst, an acquaintance of his father and former youth coach at Spurs and Chelsea who now works as a personal trainer, approached Aarons and offered him an unconventional path: individual training instead of being part of a team.

“It wasn’t always easy and sometimes he seemed really disillusioned, but he was always there with passion,” Isaksson-Hurst revealed. Sky Sports“We worked very clean lying in position, especially head-to-head on the wing with flanks and finishes.”

Aarons used to be at home on the offensive wing, but now he takes on the role of right-hander. For nearly two years, the 20-year-old was not a member of any team at the time, but later described that period as a decisive factor in his development.

At 16, he joined Norwich, where he made his professional debut two years later. In 2018/19, the 1.78 metre man has been on the field in 41 second division games and has seen his share of the Canaries’ rise to the top of the English League with two goals and six assists.

Also in the current season Aarons is an integral part of the starting line of German coach Daniel Farke and has been on the field in 20 of 22 games over the entire distance. It is hardly surprising that the best clubs in the Premier League are interested in a talented young Englishman. Meanwhile, former Farke club Borussia Dortmund and Bundesliga leaders RB Leipzig are also said to have noticed.

“Let him play football in peace and fair,” Farke recently felt obliged to clarify. “He shouldn’t be thinking about a change yet because he’s in the right place, he can play regularly here.”

Max Aarons in Plant-Profile

Born 04 January 2000 in London
Size 1.78m
Weight 69 kg
Position right defender, left defender
strong foot Yes
Stations Norwich City Youth, Norwich City
Premier League matches/goals 20/0

Norwich may not be able to keep Aarons in the event of relegation

Aarons has extended his contract until 2024, Sky Sports He also recently said Norwich would not consider a sale until after an offer of 35 million euros.

So the club still has all the cards in hand, but in the event of relegation – Norwich are already eight points behind on the saving shore – the outside defender is unlikely to be held.

Aaron’s greatest strength in addition to his tackles is the speed that allows him to go up and down the touchline for 90 minutes in the style of a modern right-hander. Because of his past in attack, he also has the technique to dribble his opponents and then put the ball in the penalty area.

In his style of play, he likes to be oriented towards Kyle Walker of Manchester City, to whom he is very similar as a type of player. However, due to his size, he is vulnerable to high balls and the U21 international also needs to improve his decision-making.

With Walker, Trent Alexander-Arnold champions Liverpool, Manchester United’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka and even Kieran Trippier of Atletico Madrid, Aarons has great competition in England in his position, but as a future national player, he is still seen. And compared to Alexander-Arnold – currently perhaps the best legal defender in the world – he doesn’t have to hide, at least statistically.

TaA beat 12 more than Aarons with 20 successful flanks, which is of course also due to the Reds’ dominant game compared to Norwich. Aarons, on the other hand, has a much better record of 22.22 per cent (Alexander-Arnold is Opta 13.79 per cent. The fact that he is the best tackler in the league has already been mentioned and he is also at a similar level to Alexander-Arnold in the two-game ratio (45.74 percent).

Max Aarons turned down to the top club in the summer

Of course he is not yet allowed to be put on a par and air of the Liverpool star, but Aarons has the skills to become one of England’s best outside defenders in the coming years – especially as he seems mentally ready to do so.

“Last summer, some big clubs called him every day,” said Isaksson-Hurst, who still trains with Aarons during the football-free season. “Many players follow the reputation of big clubs and especially big money. He knew that playing time was the most important thing for his development, just make the right decision.”

And Aaron himself sometimes rubs his eyes with astonishment after his meteoric rise. “Sometimes I sit down and think, “Wow, it’s been a good year and a half.” But I have to stay calm and keep working,” he said in the fall.

Maybe he will soon see BVB as the right career step and teach the Bundesliga wingers with his tackles to fear.