Manchester United legend's role in helping City star flourish
Max Aarons is the latest Norwich City player to benefit from the wisdom of Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand.
The right-back has signed with sports agency New Era Global Sports, where Ferdinand is an ambassador and mentor to the company's clients.
Among those currently being represented by the company are former City stars Ben Godfrey and the Murphy twins, all of whom gain access to the former England defender for advice on their game on the pitch and how to improve their performances.
Godfrey utilised Ferdinand's advice to enhance his own development at Norwich before securing a big-money move to Everton a year ago. City youngsters Jonathan Tomkinson and Regan Riley are also represented by New Era.
Aarons has had a decent start to his Premier League campaign and picks up the phone to pick Ferdinand's brains about certain opponents prior to his Premier League matches for the Canaries.
"If you could handpick someone to be able to help you and talk you through different situations whether that is on or off the pitch (then it would be him).
"I've known Rio for a few years now through different players and now coming on board (with New Era Global Sports) and being able to work with him and being able to message him before a game if I'm coming up against a player who he has done some analysis on or just seen.
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"Having just played the game and won various trophies, there is nobody better to be able to bounce ideas off or get little pointers from. To have somebody around you like that is massive for a player."
Borussia Dortmund reportedly made a late loan bid for the City star at the end of the recent summer transfer window with Everton, Tottenham and Atletico Madrid also long term admirers of the Canaries' academy graduate.
Aarons does hold aspirations of reaching the top of the game, but is no rush given the exposure to regular first-team football at Norwich.
Ferdinand's presence helps ensure that Aarons doesn't get carried away after a few positive performances. The City full back believes the achievements of the 81-time England international helps him keep his success in perspective.
"If I ever have a moment where I think that I'm doing well here or if you get a little bit ahead of yourself at certain points, then being able to speak to someone like Rio and you see what he has won and success he had at Manchester United, it makes you realise that you need to keep working hard and improving because that is the level that I want to get to at some point.
"To be able to speak to someone like that and just ask him 'what more can I do?' and 'what can I do to improve my game?' or maybe what to do in certain games against this certain opponent to outwit them defensively.
"There's no better person to have around you," Aarons told Ferdinand's podcast Vibe with Five.
NCFC extra: City Q&A - with Paddy and Connor