Scout Reports

FPL new signings: Who is Leeds midfielder Brenden Aaronson?

Leeds United completed the signing of Brenden Aaronson last week, their first transfer of the summer window.

The United States international has agreed a five-year deal at Elland Road and links back up with Jesse Marsch who he has spent time working with previously.

Aaronson, 21, already has 19 international caps to his name, having scored six goals for the national team, and can play as a no. 10 or as a winger.

Upon his signing, director of football Victor Orta said:

“We’re pleased to have reached this agreement, we’ve been really impressed with the talent and skill set of Brenden, along with all the physical data collected on him. We believe he will improve the squad and we are really happy, it is very difficult to find a young player of this level, especially with Champions League experience. He can play in a number of positions and we believe he is the perfect player fit for us. We’ve been interested in Brenden for a long time and with taking the decision to hire Jesse Marsch and their experience of working together in the past, we wanted to close the deal as soon as possible which we now have done.” – Victor Orta

Jesse Marsch added:

“Brenden is an incredibly hard worker and we’re pleased to welcome him to the club. He adapts very well to tactical ideas and levels of play and his mentality is to do whatever it takes to help the team succeed. I know he will fit in here perfectly with our players and club with this mindset.” – Jesse Marsch

Aaronson clearly has a big role to play next season, but what will he bring to Leeds and can he become a Fantasy Premier League (FPL) option?

We’ll attempt to answer those questions below.

THE HISTORY

SeasonTeamAppsGoalsAssists
2021/22RB Salzburg2645
2020/21RB Salzburg2055
2020Philadelphia Union2043
2019Philadelphia Union2831

Above: Brenden Aaronson’s league appearances and attacking returns via Transfermarkt

Coming through the ranks with Philadelphia Union, Aaronson made a goalscoring MLS debut in March 2019, netting in the 1-1 draw with Atlanta United. He went on to cement his place as a regular starter and came second in the MLS Rookie of the Year award, before making his debut for the United States national team in February 2020. Later that year, he won his and Philadelphia’s first-ever trophy – the MLS Supporters’ Shield – with the midfielder also named in the MLS Best XI.

That earnt him a move to RB Salzburg for just shy of £5m plus bonuses, where he would link up with current Leeds head coach Jesse Marsch. Under his guidance, Aaronson thrived in Austria, scoring 13 times and providing 15 assists in 65 games in all competitions, helping the club win two league and cup doubles. Aaronson also played 10 games in the Champions League in 2021/22, helping Salzburg reach the Last-16 where he provided two assists against Bayern Munich.

At international level, Aaronson is capped 19 times for the USMNT, hitting six goals and four assists.

PLAYING STYLE/UNDERLYING STATS

Aaronson is essentially an attacking midfielder, who is comfortable playing on both flanks or in behind a striker.

Deployed at the tip of Salzburg’s diamond formation in 2021/22, his movement is captured below:

Above: Brenden Aaronson’s touch heatmap 2021/22, via Sofa Score

Aaronson’s off-the-ball movement is very good, which means he often arrives in the box at exactly the right time, whilst he also loves to dribble and beat defenders.

However, pressing remains his biggest asset, which isn’t a huge surprise given that he’s spent the last couple of years with a Red Bull team.

Aaronson scored four league goals last season for Salzburg, underperforming his expected goals (xG) tally, as he racked up 8.3 xG’s worth of shots. That’s because quite a few of his attempts arrived outside of the box.

In terms of his creative output, he had five assists from an expected assists (xA) value of 3.5, meaning his team-mates scored at a slightly higher rate than they would be expected to based on the chances he made.

WHERE AARONSON FITS IN AT LEEDS AND IS HE WORTH BUYING IN FPL?

“I got a little, I guess definition about the player that Leeds want, and I think I fit that. They celebrate a tackle like a goal, and I’m going to be that guy that’s not only going to be the creative outlet or the guy that’s going to be playing I guess, the [No.] 10 or winger or whatever. I’m going to be the guy that’s going to be working hard too and that’s what Leeds is.” – Brenden Aaronson

“Jesse [Marsch] is a fantastic coach. I worked with him for half-a-year at Red Bull Salzburg and he was amazing. I was grateful to work with him then and I am grateful to work with him again, so I am excited. With the half-year I played under him, he taught me a lot. He taught me how to get into the final third to score goals and get assists, so that’s something I am looking to bring here. I’ve heard about what the fans like about players here and I feel like I can be that type of player. I am a hard worker, I have this creative side to me and I think I fit this Leeds recipe in a player. The way Jesse wants to play, I learned a lot about the system and flourished under that system, so I am really excited to get back into it again.” – Brenden Aaronson

More often than not, Jesse Marsch has gone 4-2-3-1 in the Premier League, which suggests Aaronson has been signed for the no. 10 role.

Aaronson typically plays on the wing for the USMNT but was deployed in a more central role against Morocco earlier this week, finding the net in a 3-0 win. His performance highlighted his versatility and ability to contribute defensively as much as in attack, and offered a glimpse into what we can expect to see at Leeds.

“I was impressed. I really was. I thought he gave us energy. He gave us bite. He won some good duels. To arrive in the penalty box like that on Christian’s [Pulisic] play that he ends scoring shows great effort and tenacity, so I think he did good.” – USMNT manager Gregg Berhalter

“Defensively for me, it’s about being physical and I’m going to continue to work on my physicality, you know, but I think I won a lot of challenges tonight. I think I did my job defensively and maybe it’s not winning challenges. Maybe it’s not doing that kind of thing but maybe it’s getting the shape defensively, not letting them go through you, not passing lanes.” – Brenden Aaronson

A more effective all-rounder than Rodrigo for the position in behind the striker then, perhaps?

If Leeds were to sell Raphinha this summer or have any other changes in attack, Aaronson could also be deployed on either flank considering how narrow Marsch sometimes uses his wingers. And it’s that versatility that should ensure he racks up plenty of minutes, probably from the off given that his physical traits should easily translate.

When up to speed Aaronson is likely to provide a decent number of assists, but there are still question marks over his possible goal return, given his attacking output to date.

He will also be part of a mid-priced midfield bracket stacked with Fantasy talent.

Naturally, he will need some bedding-in time, and the expectations of any player jumping from Austrian Bundesliga to Premier League level needs to be realistic, which does suggest that Aaronson is probably best summed up as a ‘wait and see’ in FPL.


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48 Comments Post a Comment
  1. FFS Ultras are for Kinnear
    • 9 Years
    20 days, 6 hours ago

    The next Pulisic

    1. adi11
      • 7 Years
      20 days, 6 hours ago

      yeah

    2. DelPiero10
        20 days, 5 hours ago

        The next Freddy Adu

        1. panda07
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          20 days, 3 hours ago

          Freddy Adu was 26 when people thought he was 16!

      • KAPTAIN KANE
        • 5 Years
        20 days, 3 hours ago

        Because same nationality? Lol

    3. yousunkmybattleship
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 12 Years
      20 days, 4 hours ago

      No

      1. IN SANE IN DE BRUYNE
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        19 days, 18 hours ago

        no

    4. Weak Become Heros
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      20 days, 4 hours ago

      FPL open yet?

      1. RedRo
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        20 days, 3 hours ago

        Yeah

      2. BERGKOP
        • 10 Years
        19 days, 12 hours ago

        No

    5. panda07
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      20 days, 3 hours ago

      First name on the teamsheet if going alphabetically!

      1. RedLightning
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • Has Moderation Rights
        • 11 Years
        20 days, 2 hours ago

        Replacement for Max Aarons of Norwich.

      2. IN SANE IN DE BRUYNE
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        19 days, 19 hours ago

        think I'd prefer Alexander Arnold

    6. POTATO
      • 1 Year
      20 days, 2 hours ago

      The only Leeds transfer news I want is that they have replaced Junior Firpo with virtually anybody else.

    7. Inazuma X1
      • 4 Years
      19 days, 21 hours ago

      10 days to go

      1. IN SANE IN DE BRUYNE
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        19 days, 18 hours ago

        Zzzzz

    8. Andy_Social
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      19 days, 20 hours ago

      Strikes me as a Raphinha replacement, but presumably not as good. I'm tipping Leeds for either 17th or 18th this coming season.

      1. Weak Become Heros
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        19 days, 19 hours ago

        A team to target for sure.

      2. FFS Ultras are for Kinnear
        • 9 Years
        19 days, 18 hours ago

        Highest number of yellow and red cards too. Ted Lasso really gets them fired up

    9. WALOR
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 12 Years
      19 days, 17 hours ago

      A police officer sees a man driving around with a pickup truck full of platypuses.

      He pulls the guy over and says...

      "You can't drive around with platypuses in this town. Take them to the zoo immediately."

      The guy says "OK"... and drives away.

      The next day, the officer sees the guy still driving around with the truck full of platypuses, but now they're all wearing sun glasses!

      He pulls the guy over and demands... "I thought I told you to take these platypuses to the zoo yesterday?"

      The guy replies... "I did . . . today I'm taking them to the beach!"

      1. The Units
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 12 Years
        19 days, 17 hours ago

        Classic dad joke

    10. diesel001
      • 5 Years
      19 days, 16 hours ago

      Leeds' best team is ok, but they need to find a LB. Issue for them is as soon as they get injuries, they have no decent backup players. Assuming Raphinha leaves:

      Meslier
      Ayling Cooper Llorente ?????
      Dallas Phillips
      James Aaronson Harrison
      Bamford

      1. The Mentaculus
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        19 days, 16 hours ago

        I think that's fair. Contrary to the expectations of some above, I think Leeds can edge back up to midtable safety if spared long-term injuries to key players. People are quick to forget we kept 12 CS in 20/21 & Phillips was a huge part of that. Starting to seem like we might get close to 60m for Raphinha so there will be more new signings. Agree that LB seems most urgent

      2. The Knights Template
        • 8 Years
        19 days, 15 hours ago

        Gelhart of Riviera missing, no dice.

        1. Tomerick
          • 7 Years
          19 days, 9 hours ago

          You really are committed to this joke. 😀

      3. Ser Davos
        • 6 Years
        19 days, 14 hours ago

        Dallas injury and Firpo’s form have hurt them a bit

        It’s a decent side tbf. The likes of Klich and Costa have drifted away

    11. Ser Davos
      • 6 Years
      19 days, 14 hours ago

      Off topic

      Looking at an M1 Macbook Air. Wondering if any folk uses one how are they/you getting on with it

      Thinking of getting the base Air M1 with 16 GB ram

      Would I need anti-virus?

      1. nikzgfx
        • 5 Years
        19 days, 14 hours ago

        Have the model from last year the basic air and I love it. Slim, lightweight, instantly on, for office tasks it's a bliss and use it when on the sofa and bed. Use it for most my remote working and browsing. Not done anything taxing on it but it ties in excellent with the rest of my apple devices.

      2. zeslinguer
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        19 days, 11 hours ago

        I’d probably wait if I were you as Apple are releasing a new model later this year.

      3. NateDog
        • 1 Year
        19 days, 11 hours ago

        My missus just got one about a month ago and loves it. I'm not one for Apple products but she is and her dad has had his Mac for years and has had very few issues with it, I've just had a quick look at it but it seems like a very nice piece of kit, very smooth.

      4. Ser Davos
        • 6 Years
        19 days, 10 hours ago

        Thanks all

        Looks like Display Link will allow for 2 x external monitors, which is a deal breaker/maker

        Just waiting for WWDC tomorrow to see if they release an M2 Air and then take it from there

      5. bso
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        18 days, 11 hours ago

        Using MacBook Air for 12 years. On my second one and would not buy anything else. Not only no need for anti virus but probably not good for computer either. Just not needed.

    12. My heart goes Salalalalah
      • 5 Years
      19 days, 13 hours ago

      Is the UNL a quality competition, or waste of time? Some results:
      France 1 - Denmark 2
      Hungary 1 - England 0
      Belgium 1 - Netherlands 4
      Croatia 0 - Austria 3
      Armenia also beat Ireland

      1. RedRo
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        19 days, 13 hours ago

        Glorified friendlies

        1. JBG
          • 4 Years
          19 days, 10 hours ago

          This x10000

      2. The Mentaculus
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        19 days, 13 hours ago

        Waste of time. Players need a break

      3. BERGKOP
        • 10 Years
        19 days, 12 hours ago

        At least it's producing some interesting results.

      4. NateDog
        • 1 Year
        19 days, 11 hours ago

        I think it's a good idea but having these fixtures right after the end of such a long and drawn-out season after having the Euros last summer, and with having an early PL start as well as the winter WC coming up is an utterly joke. Give the players a bloody break.

        1. NateDog
          • 1 Year
          19 days, 11 hours ago

          *utter

    13. KAPTAIN KANE
      • 5 Years
      19 days, 13 hours ago

      Feeling really good about this upcoming season, just hope I’m not too far off with my early draft when prices come out!

      1. Inazuma X1
        • 4 Years
        19 days, 13 hours ago

        Who is in your current draft?

        1. diesel001
          • 5 Years
          19 days, 13 hours ago

          Samba - 4.0
          Cancelo - Laporte - VVD - Justin - 4.0
          Salah - Son - Foden - Bruno G - (H. Wilson)
          Mitrovic - Gelhardt - 4.5

        2. The Mentaculus
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          19 days, 12 hours ago

          Knocked up this from Camzy's prices in an idle moment. It'll change a million times with fixtures & all, but maybe something like:
          Raya (4.0)
          Robertson Chilwell Laporte Trippier (Clyne)
          Salah Son Bowen Martinelli Johnson
          Wilson (Gelhardt 4.5)

          1. NateDog
            • 1 Year
            19 days, 11 hours ago

            No City attackers, do you think they may struggle early on to adapt to playing with a recognised CF or are you waiting to see how things work and and who looks to benefit the most?

            1. The Mentaculus
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              19 days, 11 hours ago

              I'm not entirely happy with the balance in that sense....
              I just think that, on an individual level, Salah & Son will initially be more reliable for captaincy than Håland or KDB. Its unlikely that I'll go for any other City mids unless they seem radically underpriced (unlikely), and I may just play the waiting game to see how Håland & KDB gel. I'm sure I'll still make a few drafts with Diaz & Håland/KDB (no Salah) though. Nothing is set just yet

      2. The Mentaculus
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        19 days, 12 hours ago

        Priced out of the triple threat? Waiting to get through August before you pick up Mr Harold?

    14. Shattered Dreams
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      19 days, 10 hours ago

      I'll be surprised if he takes to the PL like a duck to water given his age and limited experience.

      1. The Mentaculus
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        19 days, 10 hours ago

        Yeah I think its unlikely Aaronson will be much of an FPL option this year. Haven't seen much of him but I imagine he'll initially be bench cover for Rodrigo/Harrison/James, and longer-term lined up as Rodrigo's replacment if/when performances merit