Leeds United sign ‘team player’ Brenden Aaronson

LEEDS UNITED have made their first major signing of the summer by finally securing £25m midfielder Brenden Aaronson from RB Salzburg - and the American has told them they are getting a team player.

Leeds United's new signing Brenden Aaronson is unveiled at Elland Road. Picture: Leeds United.
Leeds United's new signing Brenden Aaronson is unveiled at Elland Road. Picture: Leeds United.

In signing a five-year deal, Leeds have finally addressed their failure to bring in a box-to-box midfielder in recent seasons.

They tried and failed to sign Aaronson in January, when Salzburg turned down offers rising to around £20m, but rather than sign anyone else, they decided to come back for their top target in the summer, when the Austrians were more willing to do business.

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Aaronson had 10 assists and six goals in 41 appearances for double-double winners Salzburg last season, and it is clear he is a player as focused if not more so on making goals than scoring them.

Baye4rn Munich's Tanguy Nianzou and Salzburg's Brenden Aaronson battle during their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 clash in Munich in March Picture: Franz Kirchmayr/Getty Images

“I’m a team player, I work hard for the team but I also have this creative side to me and I’ll hopefully get tons of goals and assists,” he said after signing.

The box-to-box midfielder worked with current coach fellow American Jesse Marsch at Salzburg, but his new club’s interest pre-dates that. Marsch explained that was also the case when he came to Europe in January 2021, having started his career with Philadelphia Union in Major League Soccer.

The youngster flew into the UK on Wednesday and completed his medical on Thursday morning before finalising the deal at Elland Road.

Salzburg had wanted Aaronson to see the season out before doing business, particularly as they had a Champions League knockout tie against Bayern Munich in February/March, but Leeds quickly agreed a deal would go ahead once the campaign was over - just as well, because in the first leg in particular he caught the eye.

The deal will officially go through on July 1 subject to a work permit and international clearance but as an 18-capped international, that should be a formality. He is in the squad for matches against Morocco, Uruguay, Grenada and El Salvador this month.