Back in January we shared a story about Medford, New Jersey native and Philadelphia Union alumnus Brenden Aaronson, who was a target for Leeds United in the English Premier League.
The transfer didn’t happen then, but it’s back in play now, according to the trustworthy Tom Bogert at MLSSoccer.com:
Sources: With their Premier League survival, Leeds United are finalizing a deal to acquire RB Salzburg's USMNT attacker Brenden Aaronson. Deal around $30 million was previously agreed to, pending relegation. Final steps now.
Aaronson, 21, spent 18 months at Salzburg. pic.twitter.com/Bpp85jQD5x
— Tom Bogert (@tombogert) May 22, 2022
This was confirmed by another guy called Fabrizio Romano, who is basically the Adam Schefter of European soccer. He’s like Schefter, Woj, Shams, Elliotte Friedman + Darren Dreger wrapped into one:
Leeds are closing on Brenden Aaronson deal, here we go soon. Full agreement reached with RB Salzburg and paperworks to be prepared soon, deal worth £28m as reported yesterday. ⚪️🇺🇸 #LUFC
Aaronson has already agreed personal terms with Leeds as he wanted Premier League move. pic.twitter.com/NAp9QdytFw
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) May 23, 2022
What happened here is that Leeds fired their coach Marcelo Bielsa and hired an American named Jesse Marsch, who coached Brenden at Red Bull Salzburg. The deal was contingent on Leeds escaping relegation, which they did on Sunday, finishing 17th out of 20 EPL teams. Brenden’s first European coach was an American, and now he’s going to the Premier League to play for the same American, so the move makes a lot of sense on paper. He knows Jesse’s system and there’s actually another former MLS player on the Leeds roster (Jack Harrison), so it all works when you think about it. That’s a good environment to enter. Jesse plays an up-tempo counter-pressing style and Brenden can run for days. He’s very smart and is a workhorse, though I wonder if the physicality of the Prem is going to be too much for him. He is not a big guy and making the jump from Philadelphia Union, to the Austrian League, to the English Premier League in three seasons is a massive change. Plus, that’s a huge transfer fee and it comes with a lot of expectations.
One thing to note is that when the Union transferred Brenden to Austria in 2020, they added a “sell-on” clause to the deal, which means that if Salzburg would transfer him, the U would get a cut of that as well. The number is between 10-20%, so if Brenden is sold for $30 million to Leeds, Philly gets somewhere between three and six million to work with.
But good for Brenden, for real. Believe it or not, the largest American transfer fees now belong to a kid from Hershey and a kid from Medford. This area has always been rich in talent, it just wasn’t being mined properly. With Brenden at Leeds and Christian Pulisic at Chelsea, there’s a reason to pick a Premier League team if you’re looking for one, though I highly suggest Leeds over Chelsea. Picking Chelsea is like picking the Yankees and picking Leeds is like picking the Phillies.
Brend is “The Medford Messi” –
Medford Messi! 😊
In all seriousness, 🇺🇸 Brenden Aaronson (19) ripping shots outside the box is a thing that should happen more often.
A @PhilaUnion gem. 💎
— Football Wonderkids (@fbwonderkids) September 6, 2020