Brenden Aaronson has finally sealed his move to RB Salzburg from the Philadelphia Union.
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The USMNT midfielder, 19, has sealed a deal which the Union call the “highest ever transfer fee for a U.S.-based homegrown player” as several add ons are also included. It has been reported the fee will be close to $10 million, if add ons are met.
This deal was expected to be completed for a while as Aaronson is heading to a team in the UEFA Champions League as the Austrian giants have a strong pedigree in producing talent: Sadio Mane, Erling Haaland and Takumi Minamino to name just a few.
Aaronson will remain with Philadelphia until the end of the 2020 season and will then be available to play for Salzburg, who are managed by American Jesse Marsch, from January 2021.
The Union academy product is excited about heading to Europe to follow in the footsteps of other MLS academy graduates such as Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams.
“Playing in Europe has always been a part of my dream. I’ve been able to accomplish the first part of my dream, to play for my home city, and am so excited for this continuation of my journey,” Aaronson. “Before working towards a career overseas, my first goal was to play on the Philadelphia Union field. I am so incredibly appreciative of all my coaches, my family, and the Philadelphia Union fans. Like I said, I was one of them once, and their support means everything to me. I’ll continue to give them everything I have through the end of the season and what I hope is a long playoff run. For me and for this club, this is just the beginning, and I look forward to what the future holds.”
Safe to say that RB Salzburg sporting director, Christoph Freund, is pumped to sign Aaronson.
“Brenden Aaronson is considered one of the greatest talents in the MLS, his dynamism and his presence on the field are extraordinary for a 19-year-old,” Freund said. “Despite his young age, he already has an excellent feeling for making the right decisions on the pitch. With his way of playing football, Brenden is a perfect match for us and we are already looking forward to him.”
This is a really smart move for Aaronson as Marsch will keep a close eye on him and he is developing into one of the top young attacking midfielders in the USMNT pool.
Gregg Berhalter will be delighted as Aaronson joins Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams, Sergino Dest, Zack Steffen, Ethan Horvath, Gio Reyna, Konrad de le Fuente, Chris Richards and Alex Mendez in playing for clubs in the Champions League. That experience among Europe’s elite will only benefit the USMNT in the future.
Aaronson will get minutes regularly at Salzburg and this is the perfect chance for him to improve in Europe, while knowing that scouts from all of the top league and teams in Europe watch the Austrian team closely. This is likely the first step of a very successful career in Europe for the American midfielder.