Mentored by Rio Ferdinand and having played more minutes than Reece James at the same age, Norwich City’s Max Aarons looks set for a big future as he prepares to make the 150th senior appearance of his career against Everton
- Max Aarons is mentored by six-time Premier League winner Rio Ferdinand
- He has established himself in Norwich’s first-team since his debut in 2018
- The 22-year-old has played more minutes than Reece James at the same age
- He is set to make his 150th senior appearance against Everton on Saturday
Personally mentored by Rio Ferdinand and attracting interest from Diego Simeone, full-back Max Aarons is a man going places.
The Norwich City defender will make his 150th senior appearance today when his side host Everton. The landmark is a feat in itself, but even more considering his age.
Aarons only turned 22 earlier this month, but his already considerable experience defies his tender age.
Max Aarons (L) challenging Marcus Rashford when Norwich took on Man United last month
Aarons is personally mentored by former Man United and England defender Rio Ferdinand
Thrust into the Canaries first-team at just 18, Aarons has been forced to acclimatise to senior football quickly.
Since his debut in an EFL Cup tie versus Stevenage in August 2018, the defender’s been a virtual ever present in the Norwich side.
Indeed, his appearance stats compare favourably with any player under the age of 22 across European football’s top leagues.
Out of 819 players under 22, Aarons ranks fourth for career league minutes behind PSG keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, Nantes shot-stopper Alban Lafont and Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt.
Aarons has played more minutes of senior football than fellow full-back Reece James (above)
Even more impressively, Aarons is first for career league minutes for a full-back in the same age group – ahead of the likes of Reece James and Emerson Royal.
Of course, Aarons is unlikely to be at Carrow Road forever. When he leaves Norwich for a bigger club, he may find first-team football hard to come by.
If, as looks likely, the Canaries make an instant return to the Championship this season then Aarons will be a target for a host of Premier League clubs.
A number of European teams are also monitoring closely; Atletico Madrid, managed by Simeone, believe Aarons can become Kieran Trippier’s successor at right-back.
Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone is believed to be an admirer of Aarons’ skillset
While Borussia Dortmund, who have a legacy of nurturing young English talent, are also interested.
When the time eventually comes for Aarons to flee the Canaries nest, he has Ferdinand on speed dial to guide him through the transition.
The pair are part of the same agency, New Era Global, and Ferdinand is known to take a hands-on approach to developing its young talent.
Aarons’ career is certainly in safe hands as he prepares for his 150th match.