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Who Is Aarón Martín and Where Did He Come From?

You’ve Heard His Name, But Not Much Else...

RCD Espanyol v Real Sporting de Gijon - La Liga Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

There is a youth system in Barcelona that is reaping the rewards of their investments and it does not go by the name of La Masia. Espanyol, Catalonia’s other La Liga club, can count on a golden generation of youngsters that have risen through the ranks this season. Defenders Marc Navarro (21) and Aarón Martín (19), as well as midfielders Marc Roca (20) and Óscar Melendo (19) have all made the leap from the reserves.

“These are players that came through on their own merit, they didn't come in to plug a hole due to an injury, they're going to have long careers in the top flight," Angel Morales, Coordinator of Espanyol's academy, spoke with Reuters in an interview on the talent coming through their ranks.

A fixture at the Spanish National team youth levels (Spain U16, U17, & U19 International), young 19-year-old, Aarón Martín, has become an indisputable starter at left-back for Quique Sánchez Flores since his arrival into the team in October. He has started 20 of the 22 matches he has played this season. It is his consistent performances that have caught the eyes of Los Blancos, but Aarón has been on Madrid’s radar for some time. He was a member of the U-19 Spanish team that dominated the European Championships — a team which included Marco Asensio, Borja Mayoral, and Dani Ceballos. Technically gifted and defensively sound, Aarón has impressed throughout his career. Espanyol’s golden generation never lost a derby against Barcelona. Aarón and Adama Traore (former Barcelona 1st team member, now of Middlesborough) had immense duels, and Aarón always left marks of his quality on a match.

“He Always Stood Out for his technical quality” – Dani Fernández, Aarón Martín’s coach at youth levels.

Fernández has said that Aarón has a similar playing style to Kolarov of Manchester City and Alaba of Bayern Munich. He has all the qualities of a modern left back: technical, good positioning, transitional play, and a superb strike. Dani Fernández has claimed that both Madrid and even more aggressively Barcelona have been after Aarón since he was 15. Each have scouted him throughout the youth levels and at the U19 European Championships.

There will always be doubts of a 19-year-old bursting onto the scene with only one season to judge. Fans and pundits alike may very well argue that Madrid is a step too far and step too soon for Aarón. The same could be said back in 2007 about a young 18-year-old Marcelo Viera — but what can be said about him now? Contrary to life at Espanyol, Aarón most likely will not be an undisputed starter for Real Madrid. Though, given the amount of games Madrid have in a season, and the demand on the full-back position, it would be fair to say he will be given ample game time and can become the Spanish heir to Marcelo as the Brazilian will be entering his 30’s next season.

The Cornella will not want to let go of any of their jewels this summer, but recent relations between clubs may help negotiations. Players like Asensio, Lucas Vazquez, Callejon, and Burgui have all been transactions between the two clubs in past seasons. Time will tell if Madrid’s interest is genuine enough to pursue and negotiate what will surely be a hefty fee of around 20 to 30 million euros for the player. Keep Aarón Martín on your watch list as he is one for the future.


PANIAGUA, RAÚL. "Aarón, la joya del Espanyol que se le resistió al Barça." El Periodico. El Periodico , 28 Dec. 2016. Web. 21 Mar. 2017. Link.

Reuters. "Espanyol's rise is fuelled by youngsters, not big names." MARCA in English. N.p., 28 Feb. 2017. Web. 21 Mar. 2017.

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