Tifo Football recently ran a feature on Aaron Martin Caricol, the left back of Espanyol in Spanish La Liga. The 20 year old has nearly 2000 minutes this season in La Liga and is one of the best young defenders in the league.
I’m not entirely convinced that Aaron is the next Jordi Alba, or that he’s the ‘perfect modern fullback’, but he’s good. He completes most of his dribbles, has decent key pass numbers, but honestly he was nobody until a year or so ago. He could turn out wonderfully, he could also turn out to be a flash in the pan, and with a 40m release clause I’d really rather not find out on our dime.
In addition to Everton, the Tifo article noted Atletico Madrid, both Manchester clubs, Napoli, and RB Leipzig. We probably have more money than Napoli and the Atletico project is listing. After all, Antoine Griezmann is linked with Barcelona and coach Diego Simeone is linked with moves every summer, a huge outlay for a left back doesn’t seem to be their priority right now.
As reported by Royal Blue Mersey, we tried to sign Aaron Martin during the winter window. We even had terms agreed to with the player, but Espanyol wanted more cash. The hope is that the situation changes by the summer, and I think there’s an okay chance that it might.
If City isn’t set on fullbacks at this point I don’t know what is going to help them, I don’t see them as bidders. Jose Mourinho is scared to attack anybody so I’m not quite sure what he’d do with an attacking fullback, and Leipzig needs to replace Naby Keita and keep Bayern fended off their other assets, I don’t see them as major players.
If these mitigations play themselves out, it’s possible that there isn’t enough of a market for Espanyol to demand the full release clause, and if that’s the case, maybe we can find out if the next Jordi Alba wants to change shades of blue after all.