'That's what you want' - Aarons relishing new City role

Max Aarons of Norwich during the Premier League match at Carrow Road, Norwich
Picture by Paul Chest

Max Aarons has played every minute of the Premier League season so far for Norwich City - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

His developing understanding with Ozan Kabak on Norwich City’s right side has given Max Aarons a fresh lease of life, as the youngster tries to make the most of his new attacking freedom. 

The 21-year-old duo particularly seemed to find their groove during the second half of Saturday’s encouraging 0-0 draw with Brighton, with Aarons linking with Pierre Lees-Melou to create Teemu Pukki’s best sight of goal, that the Finn scuffed just wide. 

“I don’t think it’s any different to how I play as a full-back, really. I think all it does is give me one extra person to cover for me,” Aarons explained. 

“In a back four, I’m asked to play very, very high and sometimes that can leave you exposed as a full-back. People can look and say ‘they’re out of position’ but in the back five, it gives me licence to go and do what I love to do and get forward to create chances. 

“It allows me to be solid defensively as well so I think it’s a really good mix.” 

The Canaries are looking much better since switching to a 3-5-2 formation with wing-backs, with back-to-back goalless draws halting the nightmare start to the season. 

“When we first changed to the five, I was thinking ‘do I go or not?’ but I’ve got full licence to go forward now,” continued the England Under-21 international. 

“As a player, I want to take full responsibility to create chances and hopefully get assists, chipping in with some goals as well because as a wing-back that’s what you want to do.” 

Schalke loanee Kabak is starting to find his rhythm on the right of a back three, having missed all of pre-season and the final month of last season while on loan at Liverpool, as well as going to the Euros but not being used by Turkey. 

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“He’s come to the club and is very new, and the change in formation as well means we have to learn it together,” Aarons continued. 

“Having someone that good, technically on the ball, next to me means he is giving me those passes as well as that defensive cover. 

“So I’m learning that with him and he’s brilliant to play alongside.” 

Kabak again displayed his fondness for an occasional foray forward on Saturday, which is proving popular with supporters. 

With a laugh, Aarons added: “Sometimes I find that both of us are up there and it’s like ‘whoah’ one of us needs to get back! But it’s good and another thing that adds to our game.” 

- You can listen to our review of the game in the latest episode of the Pink Un Podcast above and watch David Freezer's post-game verdict in the video below

NCFC EXTRA: Aarons backs Sargent to recover after 'frustrating' Brighton draw