Man Utd: Ten Hag could bring 'special' £20m star to Old Trafford

Manchester United's new boss Erik ten Hag outside Selhurst Park

Manchester United’s pursuit of defender Max Aarons ‘might open up’ as Norwich City are interested in Ethan Laird, according to journalist Dean Jones.

The Red Devils have been linked with a move for Aarons in recent weeks following another solid season for the 22-year-old, while Laird spent 2021/22 on loan at Swansea City and Bournemouth.

What is the latest news involving Aarons?

Last month, The Sun revealed that United and Arsenal were ‘leading the chase’ for the attack-minded full-back, who is believed to have a £20 million price tag.

And The Telegraph provided a recent update on Aarons’ situation, stating that he is ‘set to be sold’ over the summer transfer window following Norwich’s relegation from the Premier League.

Since then, United legend Rio Ferdinand has urged his former side to sign the England Under-21 international as he could have an ‘impact’ at the club.

“Someone like Max Aarons, you could put him like a Chris Smalling-type signing where they come in and they have an impact,” he told his Vibe with FIVE YouTube show.

What has Jones said about Aarons?

Sky Sports have disclosed how United’s hierarchy are prepared to let Aaron Wan-Bissaka leave Old Trafford over the coming months, either on a permanent deal or on loan if it includes an obligation to buy.

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And Jones believes the links to Aarons as his potential successor could have legs, especially as Norwich are keen to bring Laird in the opposite direction.

He told GiveMeSport: “The United link to Max Aarons is very interesting and a storyline that might open up, especially as I’ve been told that Norwich would like to take Ethan Laird from United for next season”

Would Aarons be an upgrade at United?

Since making his £50m move to Old Trafford from Crystal Palace in July 2019, Wan-Bissaka has struggled in an attacking sense, registering just two goals and ten assists in 126 appearances.

However, the 24-year-old has excelled defensively, and the underlying numbers indicate that Aarons, who was labelled “special” by ex-manager Daniel Farke, may not be a natural upgrade at this stage of his career.

As per FBref, Wan-Bissaka won 1.26 tackles, made 2.81 blocks and pulled off 2.56 interceptions per 90 minutes this season, bettering Aarons’ tallies of 1.16, 2.69 and 1.75, respectively.

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But what is perhaps more surprising is that the United ace also completed 1.81 successful dribbles, completed 0.35 crosses, and produced 1.56 shot-creating actions while pulling off 0.70 key passes.

Aarons, on the other hand, produced totals of 1.03, 0.25, 1.19 and 0.59, demonstrating that he may not provide a simple solution to United’s right-back struggles for Erik ten Hag.

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