Leeds United: Who is Brenden Aaronson?

Brenden Aaronson #11 of the United States (Photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images)
Brenden Aaronson #11 of the United States (Photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images) /

During the January transfer window, one name has been at the forefront of Leeds’ rumored plans: the 21-year-old American Brenden Aaronson.

Leeds have reportedly had a £15 million offer refused by Red Bull Salzburg, but will reportedly meet with representatives from the Austrian club to offer a £20 million deal.

This would make Aaronson the second most expensive American player in history, behind only Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic ( £57.6 million from Borussia Dortmund in 2019).

So who is this sought-after talent and how does he fit into Leeds’ plans?

Who is Brenden Aaronson?

Brenden Aaronson was born in 2000 and developed at the academy of MLS club Philadelphia Union. He made his professional debut for the Union in 2019, and immediately made an impact, finishing second in the Rookie of the Year voting in 2019 and making the MLS Best XI in 2020.

He was sold to RB Salzburg during last January’s transfer window for $6 million and has become a staple of the Champions League club. Since his arrival, Aaronson has 10 goals and 12 assists in all competitions — and started all six group stage games in the Champions League.

When talking about Aaronson’s game, the first word that comes to mind is energetic. His work rate is among the best in the world, as seen by a recent statistic via Tom Bogert.

How does Aaronson fit into Leeds?

Aaronson’s ability to press and run late into games is key in Marcelo Bielsa’s system, and he has remained healthy consistently during his career. Aaronson also shows quality in the build-up, though his end product can often leave something to be desired.

While Aaronson can play out wide as a winger, as he does for the USMNT, he currently plays as an attacking midfielder behind two forwards for Salzburg.

With Rodrigo rumored with a Barcelona move, he could take the role of the Spaniard. Aaronson is also more of a true 10 than Rodrigo, so this move would allow him to move back to his natural position if he were to stay.

Next. Paul Pogba's Future at Manchester United Decided?. dark

With other clubs such as RB Leipzig and AC Milan interested in the young American, Leeds is heavily pushing for this move in the winter. The addition of Aaronson could be a key one to Bielsa’s system, and he could become a star at Elland Road in the coming years.