Norwich City right-back Max Aarons has come a long way since progressing through Luton Town’s academy as a teenager.
The London-born defender signed his first professional contract in 2018 and has since made over 200 appearances for the Canaries.
During his time at Carrow Road, the 23-year-old has been part of two promotion-winning teams from the Championship and represented England at U19 and U21 levels.
His performances for Norwich have attracted admiring glances from several European clubs including Bayern Munich and Barcelona.
The Eastern Daily Press newspaper recently reported that scouts VfL Wolfsburg watched Aarons in the 2-0 away victory at Blackburn Rovers.
Football Today’s Ben McFadyean recently spoke with Aarons about his interest in playing in the Bundesliga and the ‘David Wagner factor’.
You’ve had four great years with City and made over 200 appearances – what sticks out for you especially?
I have achieved a lot with City, two promotions – two times in the Premier League. It’s a great experience and at just such a good level. You could say I accomplished everything that I could have asked for here so far. I couldn’t ask for much more.
You have already made over 30 appearances this season – what’s been the key to your success as a player?
I have been fortunate enough to stay fit and free of injuries game in, game out, and just keep going. I can only thank the coaches for giving me the chance and the fans for getting behind me.
David Wagner has been with the club for three months now. He achieved promotion and stayed up with Huddersfield Town where he worked successfully with Stuart Webber. The expectations of him are high – what difference has he made at Norwich?
In a short space of time, he has made a big difference. David is demanding as a coach – you really have to get yourself about and be totally focused. It’s highly intense in training and he is pushing the players to achieve their best results all the time. From my point of view, it’s the way I like it.
What difference does it make to the team? What is unique about Wagner’s style?
I knew he was intense from talking to players who played under David. His teams are good on and off the ball and focused on a high-pressing game. He aims for full-throttle football, and as a player that’s what I want to be playing whenever possible. I love playing that way because it brings out the best in me.
You clearly are enjoying the training sessions and the style of play under Wagner. You have had interest from the Bundesliga, which has been a great development ground for players like Jadon Sancho and Jude Bellingham. What does the future look like for you?
Along with my advisers, I am looking at the next four weeks and what we can achieve here. There really is a genuine expectation to achieve the play-offs – if we can do that, that is what my focus is on. There are different scenarios, but everything depends on whether we achieve promotion here, which is the main goal.
It was widely reported last year that you had more than fleeting interest from Bayern, who were then managed by Hansi Flick – how serious was the interest?
There was interest, as there is for a player in any transfer window, but it’s just about what the clubs want to do at the end of the day. My family and I have a plan for my career, and it’s all about timing as far as I am concerned. Of course, a Bundesliga club like Bayern is of interest, but my main focus is always going to be on what’s going on here on the pitch.
Finally, Norwich are still in the race for the play-offs – what do you think can be achieved?
As long as it’s mathematically possible, we have got a chance. Hopefully, we can reach the play-offs and then anything is possible. The main thing is we’d like to give the coach and the fans something to remember at the end of the season – that’s the end goal.
Ben McFadyean is a specialist Bundesliga writer who writes for outlets including Four Four Two, BBC Sport, Gulf News, Bundesliga News and German Football News and Football Today.
He has been the producer and presenter of the Dortmund Fan Club London Podcast since 2013. You can also follow him on Twitter.