How Trent and Walker are shaping City star's progression
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Max Aarons is studying two of England's most talented full-backs in order to improve his game at Norwich City.
The 21-year-old aspires to play Champions League football one day and is making notes on two players in particular - Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold and Manchester City's Kyle Walker.
Aarons has established a reputation as a forward-thinking right back and has created the second most chances in the Championship this season behind his team mate Emi Buendia. City's academy graduate has impressed with his consistency and quality this season.
The England U21 international was interesting Barcelona last summer and Italian giants Roma also made a call to City's sporting director Stuart Webber about a potential deal to take Aarons to Serie A in January.
Aarons stayed grounded despite the intensity of that speculation and has been a major protagonist as City edge closer to an instant Premier League return.
City's majority shareholder Delia Smith has tipped Aarons to reach the top of the game, and the defender has admitted playing in the Champions League is his dream. Studying players like Alexander-Arnold and Walker is helping educate him about the areas of improvement he needs to make to reach the top level.
“I watch the Champions League, watching people in my position and seeing the level I want to get to,” Aarons said.
“I look at clips. I look at the positions that Kyle Walker takes up defensively and with his pace, being in the right position to stop counterattacks. He does that best. I’ll watch Trent Alexander-Arnold for the positions he takes up to create chances. Something I really pride myself on this year is the amount of chances I’m creating," the 21-year-old told the Times.
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"I pride myself on my consistency. Some players are ten out of ten one week, and the next week they’re really quiet and dropped their performance level. I give my all every single week. I look at the top players in the world, like Kevin De Bruyne, and you know they’re going to perform every game."
Daniel Farke handed Aarons his Championship debut amid the heat of an East Anglian Derby, and the youngster will be forever grateful for the faith City's boss showed in him.
“He’s got the perfect balance of letting me go out and completely express myself but I also know my job,” Aarons said. “With that trust he puts in me I’ve got to repay him and deliver on the pitch. He’s a really good manager and a really nice guy, too. I can’t thank him enough for what he’s done for me.”