Journalist Sam Tighe has admitted he is pessimistic about the arrival of Brenden Aaronson at Leeds United this summer.
The Red Bull Salzburg midfielder will officially complete his move to Elland Road on 1st July after it was announced that Leeds paid £24.7m to sign the 21-year-old at the end of May.
The USA international helped the club to a second successive league and cup double this year as he scored four goals and provided seven assists in 31 domestic matches – but Tighe is worried by those numbers.
Speaking on the Ranks FC podcast, Tighe expressed his concern and wondered how the American will get on in a tougher environment.
Will Aaronson be a success at Leeds?
He said: “There are some negatives here. I don’t think he’s hugely creative.
“He leads the press, I’m not sure about the decision-making – and he doesn’t score enough goals considering he doesn’t create that much, either. I mean, he’s never come close to double figures, and that’s playing for a truly dominant team in a weaker league.
“When you sign a player for a manager and then you move from the manager later on, where does that leave you?
“I have concerns about Brenden Aaronson to Leeds for £25m.”
TIF Thoughts on Aaronson to Leeds…
While Tighe did give the youngster praise for his high-energy approach and tenacious tackling – which sees him rank in the 99th percentile for pressures compared to players in Europe’s top five leagues and European competitions over the past year – it’s what he can do on the ball that he is worried about.
The 21-cap ace ranks in the 4th percentile, for non-penalty expected goals per 90 among attacking midfielders and wingers in the top five leagues in Europe and the major European competitions with 0.08, while Mohamed Salah leads the chart with 0.56, just to give a bit of context.
His touches in the attacking penalty area, progressive carries and completed dribbles are all in the 8th percentile or lower, while his 1.13 shots per game is also among the continent’s lowest, so we can see where Tighe is coming from.