English Premier League Team Reportedly Wants Brenden Aaronson, aka “The Medford Messi”

Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

Let’s get it back to soccer.

Former Philadelphia Union midfielder Brenden Aaronson is a hot commodity these days. He played for Philly in 2019 and 2020, then was transferred to Red Bull Salzburg in Austria. He’s been doing so well over there that he broke into the United States national team and is now reportedly drawing bids from the English Premier League:

Leeds would be a pretty good landing spot for Aaronson, though we don’t have an amazing track record of sending young Americans to England. They’re currently 15th in the Premier League and finished 9th last year, which was their first season in the top flight after 16 seasons playing in the second and third division. They’re enjoying a rebirth of sorts following promotion, and they have a former MLS player in their squad already, a guy named Jack Harrison, who spent some time at New York City FC when he was part of the Manchester City pipeline.

There are a couple of local angles here.

First, Brenden is from Medford. He came through the Union academy ranks as a teenager and is playing at a super high level now, so it’s always good to see a local kid do well. He is “The Medford Messi.”

Second, when the Union sold Aaronson to Salzburg, it amounted to six million dollars, plus incentives, and one of those is what we call a “sell on” fee in soccer. In Brenden’s case, the Union are supposed to get a portion of future transfer fees, reportedly in the 10-20% range. So if Salzburg sold him to Leeds for $20 million, the Union would get something like $2 to $4 million, which could be used to buy a striker or upgrade somewhere else.

Third, Brenden’s brother Paxten currently plays for the Union. If he’s half as good as his older bro, he’ll be off to Europe too, at some point in the future.

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