Leeds United's Brenden Aaronson outlines his Jesse Marsch hope and Premier League 'idol'

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Leeds United new boy Brenden Aaronson is optimistic about making further progress under Jesse Marsch, and has a clear American idol to follow.

USA international midfielder Aaronson is joining Leeds from Austrian champions RB Salzburg where the States star spent six months under his new Whites boss Marsch.

Former New York Red Bulls head coach Marsch took over at Salzburg in June 2019 and Aaronson was recruited to the club in October of the following year from Philadelphia Union, beginning life at the Austrian side the following January after the conclusion of the 2020 MLS campaign.

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Aaronson swiftly amassed 25 appearances as Salzburg recorded a league and cup double.

HIGH HOPES: From Leeds United new boy Brenden Aaronson, left.
Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images.HIGH HOPES: From Leeds United new boy Brenden Aaronson, left.
Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images.
HIGH HOPES: From Leeds United new boy Brenden Aaronson, left. Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images.

Marsch then moved to Bundesliga side RB Leipzig in the summer but the American will now be reunited with Aaronson following the midfielder's £25m switch from Salzburg, a transfer which will be ratified on July 1, subject to international clearance and a work permit.

The new Whites recruit says he is relishing the prospect of linking back up with United's head coach, and has earmarked Chelsea's USA international star Christian Pulisic as his Premier League 'idol'.

Pulisic left the States to join Borussia Dortmund as a 16-year-old in 20216 and then signed for Chelsea three years later.

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The Blues star has since made 115 outings for the Stamford Bridge outfit and regularly plays alongside Aaronson for the USA national team.

The American links between Aaronson, Pulisic and Marsch are clear for all to see but above anything else Aaronson just has huge respect for Pulisic as a player and Marsch as a coach.

"Of course we are both American and it's amazing but we see each other on a coaches/player level," said Aaronson of Marsch to BBC Radio Leeds.

"We're not closer than that which is good and I want to learn from him and do whatever I can to learn more from him because he's a fantastic coach.

"But other than that, it's just that he's a great coach.

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"He did amazing things in America in MLS with New York Red Bulls and that's when I first learned about him and then after that, he went to Red Bull Salzburg then Red Bull Salzburg and was the head coach there. And I came halfway through the season two years ago, so it was a whirlwind then too, going in January, but it was a good time for me and I learned a lot under him.

"I think I played some of my best football under him and I'm excited to get back to him."

Assessing how Marsch would develop him as a player and how he has done so already, Aaronson reasoned: "When I went to Salzburg, it was something I was uncomfortable with.

"I had been living at home with my family, playing for the Philadelphia Union and then I finally moved to Salzburg and I was away from them with my family and my girlfriend and my brother and sister and it was tough.

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"But I think Jessie took me to that next level by focusing on my football and getting me better in the offensive positions and scoring goals and getting assists. That's where I felt like I made my jump in Salzburg."

Nearly two years after joining the Austrian side, Aaronson is now making the biggest jump football can offer to play his trade in the league widely regarded as the best in the world.

Aaronson admits he is taking a rise in class but is buoyed not only by his domestic achievements with Salzburg but also his Champions League exploits.

The midfielder made ten appearances in the competition last season including the qualifying rounds as part of a run which was only ended by German giants Bayern Munich in the last 16.

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"I think it's going to be a jump," said Aaronson of the move to the Premier League.

"But I played Champions League football, I played at that high level and we played Bayern so I know what that top level is like and I feel like I can hang with it and do the best I can."

Rather like Pulisic has at Chelsea, the 23-year-old B;ues ace providing the clear role model for United's new recruit.

Asked what idols he had in the English game, Aaronson admitted: "No 1 I have to say Christian.

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"I play with him on the national team and he's a good friend and I look up to him.

"I have looked up to him ever since he made the move to Dortmund and now to Chelsea.

"He's a fantastic player and a really good person too and he's done amazing things for America over here."