Less than a fortnight into his new adventure with Eintracht Frankfurt, Paxten Aaronson says he can already notice a difference between MLS and the Bundesliga, though he is confident he will make the grade.
The USA U19 international has signed a contract through to 2027 with the Eagles, and after landing in Europe from former club Philadelphia Union, the attacking midfielder is delighted with his first few days in the flock.
“It was awesome getting to meet all the guys on my first day,” Aaronson told Eintracht TV. “The guys are a special group of guys; they made me feel right at home from the first day and I’m just looking forward to training with them some more and getting to know them more off the field, but so far it’s been great.”
Aaronson and Frankfurt are warming up for the second half of the season with a training camp in Dubai, UAE. Prior to his arrival, the 19-year-old did his homework to ease him into his new reality in European football.
“I’ve been watching a tonne of games and of course I knew them through football – [the likes of] Mario Götze, Kevin Trapp and all these guys – I’ve always followed their careers before coming here,” he said. “I knew [Timothy Chandler] and his career, but never personally. Now I do personally and he’s a great guy – a jokester for sure.
“I’ve been talking to Jesper Lindstrom a lot, he speaks very good English – him, Luca Pellegrini. The younger guys too, but all of the guys have been chatting with me, so it’s good.
“I’m sure over the course of this training camp, I’ll get to know them more, but from the first training session, [I got to know] Rafael Borre – we were on the same small-sided team, seven-v-seven, and it was real fun playing with him, his lay-off play, his combination play…”
Aaronson and his new teammates have also been letting their feet do the talking, and it is a language the young American can easily converse in – though he has already discovered some local variations on a universal language.
“I’d say the difference – I’ve only had two training sessions – but I’d say the intensity and the level of closing the ball, just the speed of play, you know? How you press the ball, you don’t have a lot of time and the margins get really slim,” he said, comparing his first experiences at Frankfurt with what he was used to in MLS, where he scored four goals in 37 appearances for former club Philadelphia Union.
“You only have like a second to shoot the ball where you might have had two before, but the margins get slimmer and slimmer and I’ve already noticed that here.”
Time on the ball may be in short supply, but Aaronson expects to be given enough time to settle in. However, he does not intend for it to be too long before Frankfurt fans get to see him at his best.
“I’m patient,” he said. “I think it’s kind of up to me. However well I perform is however far I can take it, so it kind of leaves that up to me. I’m gonna try my best for sure.”
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