Max Aarons celebrates his 21st birthday today and has already gained plenty of experience playing for Norwich City! Let’s take a look at some of the key moments from his time in Norfolk so far.
Coming through the Academy
Aarons joined the Norwich City Academy from Luton Town in 2016 and went on to captain the Under-23s team, as well as reach the quarter finals of the FA Youth Cup with the Under-18s.
His performances were rewarded with a first professional contract at the club in June 2018, keeping him at the club until 2021.
Breaking into the first team
In August 14, 2018, Aarons made his professional debut for City in a 3-1 win at home to Stevenage in the Carabao Cup first round aged just 18.
The second round went well for the youngster too, Aarons scoring his first professional goal for the club at Cardiff City two weeks later!
Daniel Farke had seen enough and it was time for Aarons to make the step up to the first team for a tasty East Anglian Derby.
Aarons impressed in the 1-1 draw at Portman Road on September 2, 2018, and the games that followed, so much so that he earned a call-up to England’s Under-19s team for the first time!
After making his Three Lions debut in a 4-1 win at home to Netherlands, Aarons went on to play seven games for the U19s.
It hadn’t been long since Aarons had signed his first professional contract, but Aarons had done enough in a short space of time to justify the signing of another long-term contract on October 10, 2018, which would keep him at the club until 2023.
Contributing to the attack
Aarons’ attacking strengths were clear to see and his desire to bomb forward paid off twice in December 2018 with goals against Rotherham United and Bristol City.
In the second half of 2018-19, it was time to reap the rewards. Alongside Jamal Lewis and Teemu Pukki, Aarons was named in the Championship Team of the Season in March 2019 and won the EFL Young Player of the Season Award.
The following month, he was also included in the PFA Championship Team of the Season as City were promoted to the Premier League with a 2-1 win against Blackburn Rovers!
All that was left to do was win the Championship trophy with a 2-1 victory at Aston Villa! Aarons had played all 43 games following his first league start against Ipswich, scoring three goals in all competitions in 2018-19.
Making the step up
Ahead of the 2019-20 season, Aarons extended his contract at the club by another year to 2024.
On August 9, 2019, the full-back made his Premier League debut for Norwich against Liverpool at Anfield. He’d go on to make 36 appearances in the topflight and 40 in all competitions across the season.
At the end of the month, Aarons was named in the England Under-21s squad for the first time, and made his debut for Aidy Boothroyd’s side one week later in a 3-2 win away to Turkey. He’s since played nine games for the U21s and qualified for Euro 2021 with the young Lions!
In June 2020, his achievements were recognised with a nomination for the Golden Boy award; 100 players across the globe were nominated.
Wise head on young shoulders
All before his 21st birthday, this season Aarons scored the winning goal at home to Sheffield Wednesday and has played every league game so far in 2020-21. Oliver Skipp is the only other City player to do the same.
On December 9, Aarons made his 100th appearance for the club with a 2-1 win at home to Nottingham Forest, before receiving the EFL Young Player of the Month award for November a few days later!