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First Team

Max Aarons: The scouting report


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth added talented defender Max Aarons to the squad ahead of this weekend’s Premier League opener.

The 23-year-old arrives at Vitality Stadium as a recent under-21 UEFA European Championship winner and having long been touted as one of the nation’s best young talents.

With over 200 club appearances under his belt, he’s a familiar name to many but what will he bring to Andoni Iraola’s squad?


The full back is noted for his strong attacking capabilities with his desire to run with the ball being particularly celebrated.

Over the last year, Aarons is in the 97th percentile of full backs in terms of moving the ball up the pitch, making 3.68 progressive runs per game.

He's usually successful when he takes on a defender, completing a dribble with 60.9% of attempts during his most successful season.

With more than 140 take ons attempted during 2022/23, Aarons has no fear when running with the ball and he looks a perfect fit in Iraola’s attack-minded system.  

His 79.0% pass accuracy rate is also a positive statistic, sitting in the 79th percentile of passes attempted in a game, with an average of 4.49 of passes in a game moving at least ten yards towards the opposition goal.

Only three defenders in the Championship made more passes that led to a shot last season, highlighting his continued threat in attacking phases.


At the age of just 23, Aarons has played 213 times in his professional career, hardly missing a game in his five years of action.

No player reached 200 appearances at a younger age since Aarons’ debut in 2018/19, reaching the milestone at 23 years and 50 days.

Current Norwich City boss David Wagner has previously praised that aspect of his game, saying: “He is a top professional who always trains, is always healthy and gets a better understanding of the game with every week.”

On the pitch, he rarely makes mistakes and is a reliable performer, with The Coaches’ Voice describing him as “consistently impressing for Norwich”.

With the demands of top flight football and Iraola’s all-action system, Aarons’ consistency will be


While he’s a strong attacking threat, it would be remiss not to highlight Aarons’ defensive strengths.

Aarons won 68.2% of his tackles last season, a second-highest total in his career, with 132 tackles and interceptions made across the campaign.

Only six players in the Championship completed more tackles in the defensive third, which is an achievement given how attacking his play is, and he even added a further 75 clearances.

His total 84 players tackled in the 2022/23 season is a career highlight for Aarons, who has continued to enhance that area of his game as he develops.

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