Max Aarons - Scouting Report
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Max Aarons has been magnificent since his debut in 2018. Hammersmith-born and eligible to play for Jamaica, the young right-back has found his home in Norwich. Farke’s Norwich City side have averaged the most possession in the Sky Bet Championship this season (69%). On paper, it looks like a 4-2-3-1 system, but as with most modern coaching setups, there is a definitive fluidity in both attacking and defensive phases.

Aarons’ rise to a prominent piece of Daniel Farke’s orchestra has been nothing short of outstanding. It was at the start of December that Farke had gushed over the 21-year-old, but with a quote no different to that of a Football Manager player, he demanded more. He wanted Aarons’ to have a greater influence in Norwich’s end product. Since then, Aarons has risen to become the most progressive defender in English football. No defender has had more touches in the opposition box this season than Aarons (71), or more successful forward runs (97). Refining his already abundant attacking talent has made the Norwich machine even more efficient. 1.4 key passes per 90 is very good reading for a full-back. Norwich’s left-back, Dimitrios Giannoulis, sits at 0.6 for comparison. nThere have been non-stop reports of a potential move to Premier League Everton, with Carlo Ancelotti reportedly taking a great interest in Aarons. 

Despite his youth, he keeps a cool head when on the ball, receiving passes on the half-turn so that he is ready to progress play up the flank. He is constantly aware of what is around him and will rarely be rushed into an aimless clearance or, even more infrequently, a mistake. He attempts 5.9 attacking challenges per game, a rate higher than most Championship full-backs and a lot of Premier League full-backs.

Ofcourse, for a defender, defending is more important than attacking. Aarons isn’t an outstanding defender yet, but has plenty of time to improve his defensive abilities. One attribute that helps him recover in the vent of a mistake is his pace. Despite being an attack-minded right-back, he is reliable at the back. He averages 4.10 possession-adjusted interceptions per game, and 6.96 defensive duels, out of which he wins 60% of them. He is good at reading the game and getting the ball at the right times.

Aarons enjoys the physical contact of a one-on-one battle and tries to use his upper-body strength to manipulate his opponent’s position and shake them off the ball. He engages his opponent at pace and looks to force them off balance to draw an error. That has often been a positive, but he might have to show a little more caution in his defending. 

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