Raphinha replacement? Leeds United complete deal for Brenden Aaronson26 May 2022
Leeds United have confirmed the signing of United States international Brenden Aaronson today, beginning what will hopefully be a summer of reinforcement as Jesse Marsch’s men look to bounce back from a disappointing 2021-22 Premier League campaign.
— Leeds United (@LUFC) May 26, 2022
Aaronson, 21, has been a standout performer for Austrian outfit Red Bull Salzburg for the past two seasons, and making the jump to the top flight of English football by way of Salzburg continues a transfer pathway that has been utilized by the likes of Sadio Mané and Takumi Minamino.
Leeds shelled out a shade under £30 million for the former Philadelphia Union academy graduate, who has been one of the brightest rising stars in the US player pool over the last few seasons, but the question will undoubtedly be whether or not Aaronson has been brought in to build on the current first team, or if he is meant to replace one of Raphinha or Jack Harrison.
Both first-choice wide players have garnered considerable transfer interest this summer already, and many reports suggest that Raphinha could eventually be on his way to Barcelona despite Leeds successfully avoiding the drop, while Harrison has drawn the attention of Newcastle United as the Magpies look to add quality under Eddie Howe moving forward.
But for Aaronson, the moment Leeds secured their Premier League future was a momentous one that decided his immediate future.
Marsch and Aaronson have an already-established working relationship as well, after Marsch managed the young American in Salzburg during his first season in Europe after leaving MLS, and for Aaronson, a move to Leeds and the prospect of reuniting with his compatriot was a key reason behind his decision.
Should Raphinha depart the club, asking Aaronson to fill the gigantic boots left behind by the Brazilian would be a bridge too far, but what is clear is that Leeds have secured a talented young footballer with a bright future ahead of him.
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