Red Bull Salzburg has taken the risk and signed American striker Brenden Aaronson from the Philadelphia Union. The surprise move gives yet another high-profile spot to an American player but this time with a proven American manager that can provide a more welcoming environment in Europe.
"Despite his young age he has an incredible ability to make the right decisions on the pitch," said Sporting Director Christoph Freund. "Brenden's style of football makes him a perfect fit for us, and we are already looking forward to having him."
The signing of Aaronson at such a young age is an indicator of the changing perception of American players. For years, European teams would force players from North America to ply their trade in MLS or other leagues before coming to Europe. A feeling that the talent was unproven purveyed across the continent but that has changed with the success of players like Tyler Adams and Gio Reyna in the Bundesliga.
What this adds up to is more opportunity for Aaronson who will wear the number 11 when he joins the club. This indicates that he will be a major player for the club from the beginning and could be competing for spots with Sekou Keita and others.
"As a young player, I focus on growing my ability," said Aaronson. "I have seen how Salzburg have developed so many incredible talents. The way they play football really suits my own style, which is attacking with high pressing. It is the perfect next step for me."
Aaronson will also become a major part of Salzburg's push to become a North American brand. Notoriously a team that has kept itself focused on European fans, the new signing will have a kit available to fans of the United States in November, a change which could indicate that the European clubs are ready to appeal to fans across the pond.