‘A crazy period’ - Aarons using Barca interest as motivation for more success with City
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Summer interest from Spanish giants Barcelona is being used by Max Aarons as motivation to enjoy more success with Norwich City and keep his career on an upward trajectory.
Barca’s interest became public in September after months of rumours linking the England Under-21 international with other big clubs, including Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain, following City’s relegation from the Premier League.
The Catalan club reportedly offered £5million up front for a season-long loan with the option of a permanent deal for around £20m at the end of the season, which the Canaries would only consider if that was an obligation rather than an option. Barca eventually signed Ajax right-back Sergino Dest for around £23m instead.
“I’ve tried to use it in a way that gives me loads more confidence on the pitch and I like to think it’s showing,” Aarons said of the high profile transfer speculation, following Saturday’s 1-0 win at Middlesbrough which sent City to the top of the Championship table.
“You can use it in one way and let it turn in to a kind of arrogance or you can use it as confidence and that’s what I’ve been doing.
“So it’s been really good and I feel like I can show a lot, especially at this level.”
The 20-year-old is the only outfield player to have completed every minute of league action for Daniel Farke’s team so far this season, winning the penalty which Teemu Pukki converted for the win at the Riverside.
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He continued: “Your mind’s everywhere and obviously as soon as that finished I’m the type of player that can put it to the back of my head and on to the next, it’s gone and all the focus was on here.
“So it’s been good ever since and to get as many wins as we have now and unbeaten for a number of games.”
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Jamal Lewis and Ben Godfrey were sold to Newcastle and Everton, while regular speculation surrounded players including Aarons, Todd Cantwell and Emi Buendia following relegation, with the transfer window still open five weeks into the league season.
“The summer, there’s no lying other than saying it was busy and a crazy period obviously,” he admitted
“Now with the league in full flight it’s been good to show our quality, everyone knows what quality we have but it’s about showing it and being top of the league I’d say shows that.
“It’s been good and good to showcase what we’re about.”
But with the Canaries top after 12 games, Aarons hopes that the January transfer won’t prove as much of a distraction, if promotion back to the top flight is still looking a realistic possibility at that stage.
“There was always that bit in the back of your head not knowing how we’re going to do, a new team,” the right-back concluded.
“We obviously have a lot of quality that was here during the last (Championship) season and I knew that, and knew that if we all pulled together we would be in amongst it.
“Going into January with the team doing as well as it is at the moment is obviously better than going into the summer and you don’t really know how the team is going to gel and how everyone is going to do.”