There’s a lot riding on promotion for Norwich City, not least being able to hang onto their most promising crop of young players in years.
Daniel Farke has had precious little in the way of a transfer budget to play with since joining the club in the summer of 2017. Since his arrival, he has had to sell Alex Pritchard, James Maddison and Josh Murphy to balance the books, for around £45m.
That meant that Farke and the Norwich recruitment team needed to be creative and they also needed to look in-house for young players coming through.
Jamal Lewis had already made the left back slot his own but few could’ve predicted the rise of Max Aarons to become the first choice right back under Farke this season.
The just 19-year-old has arguably made the biggest impact of all, with Todd Cantwell and Ben Godfrey also getting plenty of game time under Farke. Whether it was by design or, to a certain extent, forced upon him, the Norwich Head Coach has given these young lads a chance and they have repaid him in spades.
Aarons has been the subject of speculation linking him to both Tottenham and Arsenal in recent months. I’ve heard whispers, none of which have a source I can quote so we’ll just call them “whispers”, that both clubs have made concrete bids for young Max but have both been knocked back.
He has been scoring goals, providing assists and of course, he’s been dealing successfully with opposition wingers, ever since he got his chance with a scintillating debut in the Carabao Cup win over Cardiff, last September.
His pace carries him up and down the right side of the pitch where he has formed an excellent partnership with Emi Buendia, who usually plays, or at least starts the game, on the right wing.
Sunday afternoon has seen a report suggesting that Manchester City, the biggest fish in the Premier League pond, are also now well aware of Max and keen on him.
TEAMtalk.com are providing the story that credits Manchester City with an interest in Max.
If Norwich are promoted this season, then I fully expect them to hang onto all their young prospects. After all, these lads and their agents will know that playing regular first team football in the Premier League for the Canaries beats being a sub or being loaned out from a bigger team.
Proving yourself in the biggest stage of all is what they will want and what Norwich City will want. Ultimately, if they do well in the top flight, we will not be able to hang onto them. There is always someone with a deeper pocket than you.
Not even Barcelona could resist the £196m offer from PSG for Neymar that changed the whole landscape of the transfer market at all levels.
I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Pep Guardiola is aware of and has had Max Aarons watched. Why wouldn’t he? Max is already an excellent player that would fit his style of play and he hasn’t even played a whole season of football yet.
Failing to achieve promotion though would leave the Canaries highly vulnerable to big money bids for players like Max and I doubt they could be resisted. So as I say, there’s a lot riding on promotion for Norwich City if we want to keep the likes of Max Aarons because he’s a helluva player, buh!