|Intro||English professional footballer|
|A.K.A.||Aaron Justin Lennon|
Association football player
|Birth||16 April 1987, Leeds|
Aaron Justin Lennon (born 16 April 1987) is an English professional footballer who plays as a winger for Premier League club Everton.
He began his career at hometown club Leeds United, making his first-team debut in 2003 and becoming the youngest player to play in the Premier League at that time. In 2005, he moved to Tottenham Hotspur for £1 million, where he made 364 appearances across all competitions and scored 30 goals. In 2008, Lennon won his first major honour, the Football League Cup, as Tottenham emerged victorious with a 2–1 win over London rivals Chelsea. In September 2015, he joined Everton for £4.5 million, after his successful spell with the club on loan.
Lennon made his senior debut for the England national team in 2006, and has been selected by England for two World Cups.
Born in Leeds, West Yorkshire, Lennon has one older brother and a younger sister and brother and is of Irish and Jamaican heritage. He attended City of Leeds High School, but then attended Boston Spa School due to the fact that the school was closer to Thorp Arch so it was easier for him to focus on both GCSEs and his football career. He was first spotted by scouts when he was eight years old; his older brother Anthony played for Manchester United’s youth team until he was involved in a car accident.
In 2001, Lennon joined the Leeds United Academy. He set a record as the youngest player ever to have his boots sponsored when he signed up with Adidas at the age of just 14. Two years later, he began his professional career at Leeds United, where he became the youngest player to appear in the Premier League at the age of 16 years and 129 days, coming off the bench at White Hart Lane against Tottenham Hotspur in a 2–1 loss in August 2003.
Lennon scored his only goal for Leeds against Sunderland on Boxing Day 2004 during a 3–2 win. Lennon had been featuring from the bench up until that point, but he soon took his chance when John Oster was sacked for bad behaviour, becoming a regular starter from then on. His pace and skills on the wing excited Leeds fans, and he was one of the star performers in Leeds’ first season in the Championship under the management of Kevin Blackwell with his performances earning rave reviews.
His last involvement at Leeds was playing and scoring in Lucas Radebe’s testimonial. With Leeds’ financial problems, Lennon was sold to Spurs for a heavily reduced fee, with a sell-on clause inserted into the deal.
With Leeds suffering financial difficulties, Lennon made a £1 million move to Tottenham Hotspur on 15 June 2005. His Spurs debut came a couple of months later in a 2–0 home defeat against Chelsea on 27 August 2005. On 18 March 2006, Lennon scored his first Premier League goal in Tottenham’s 2–0 victory over Birmingham City at St. Andrew’s.
He was nominated by fellow players for the PFA Young Player of the Year for both the 2005–06 and 2006–07 seasons, but lost out to Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo, respectively. Lennon signed a new five-and-a-half year deal with Tottenham on 8 January 2007.
On 24 February 2008, Lennon won his first major career honour as Tottenham came from a goal down to defeat Chelsea 2–1 after extra time at Wembley Stadium in the 2008 League Cup Final.
An improved deal was signed in March 2009 which contracted him to Spurs until 2014. Lennon finished the 2008–09 season as the Tottenham Fans’ Player of the Season, the club’s Player of the Season and Young Player of the Season, and was nominated for a third successive year for PFA Young Player of the Year, this time losing out to Ashley Young. He played in 47 games in all competitions and scored five goals, including a late equaliser in a memorable North London derby which ended 4–4 and was manager Harry Redknapp’s first game in charge. Spurs finished eighth in the league and reached the final of the Football League Cup, which they lost on penalties to Manchester United after a goalless draw at Wembley.
His goals early in the 2009–10 season — against West Ham United at the Boleyn Ground, and Birmingham City — kept Tottenham at the top of the league table with four successive wins, their best start to a league season since the 1960–61 season. On 24 October 2009, Lennon was injured in a match against Stoke City. Tottenham were consequently reduced to ten men as manager Harry Redknapp had used all three available substitutes and they would go on to lose the match 1–0. He returned on 22 November in a 9–1 victory against Wigan Athletic and provided three assists and scored one goal. He was substituted in the 79th minute for David Bentley, receiving a standing ovation from the fans at White Hart Lane.
Lennon suffered a groin injury in December 2009 which kept him out of the team during the first months of 2010 and in the run up to the 2010 World Cup. He made his return from injury in a 3–1 defeat against Manchester United at Old Trafford on 24 April 2010, appearing as a second-half substitute.
On 28 November 2010, he scored a last minute winner in a 2–1 victory against Liverpool at White Hart Lane after a Benoît Assou-Ekotto long ball. On 15 February 2011, Lennon went on a blistering run as Tottenham counter-attacked and then delivered a perfect pass to assist Peter Crouch in a 1–0 win over A.C. Milan at the San Siro in the Round of 16 of the Champions League.
On 18 August 2011, Lennon scored in a 5–0 win against Hearts in a Europa League play-off tie. He scored his first league goal of the season against Fulham at Craven Cottage. In December, he scored his second goal of the season in a 3–0 win against Bolton at White Hart Lane. His next goal came on 11 January 2012 in a 2–0 home win against Everton.
On 1 September 2012, he signed a four-year deal keeping him at the club until 2016. Following that, he was named captain for the first time for a Europa League game against Lazio on 20 September 2012 which ended in a 0–0 draw. Lennon scored four goals during the 2012–13 season as Spurs finished in fifth place in the Premier League.
On 2 February 2015, Lennon was loaned to fellow Premier League club Everton for the remainder of the season. He made his debut for the club as a substitute in the Merseyside Derby against Liverpool on 7 February. He scored his first goal for Everton in a 2–1 win against Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road on 22 March 2015.
He returned to Spurs briefly, for the beginning of the 2015–16 season, but was sent to train with the Under-21 squad and was not given a squad number. On 1 September 2015, Lennon rejoined Everton permanently on a three-year deal for a reported fee of £4.5 million. He began 2016 in a rich vein of form, scoring in a 1–1 draw at home to former club Tottenham, and in three successive Everton wins in late January and early February. Lennon continued his scoring run in a 3–1 away win at Aston Villa and he also netted in a 3–2 home loss to West Ham United on 5 March. However, this form proved to be short-lived as results for the team worsened and a poor end to the season led to the sacking of manager Roberto Martínez.
The new season had a more frustrating feel as the Leeds native found himself well down the pecking order when new boss Ronald Koeman took charge of the club. Lennon had played just 14 minutes of football during the first two months of Everton’s league campaign with his first league start coming on 19 November 2016 in a home match against Swansea City.
Lennon was called up to the England U21 team for the first time in October 2005 and on 8 May 2006, he was picked in England’s 2006 FIFA World Cup squad, despite being only 19 years of age and uncapped at senior level.
He was named Man of the Match in the England B encounter against Belarus on 25 May 2006 in England’s World Cup warm-up match at the Madejski Stadium in Reading, Berkshire, which England B ultimately lost 2–1. He made his full England debut as a second-half substitute in the 6–0 win over Jamaica on 2 June.
Lennon appeared as a second-half substitute for England in their 2006 World Cup group stage match against Trinidad and Tobago (his first World Cup finals appearance). England scored twice following his and Wayne Rooney’s arrival on the field, winning the game 2–0. Lennon then played in the quarter-final match against Portugal, coming on as a substitute for the injured David Beckham. Lennon was then himself substituted for Jamie Carragher immediately prior to a penalty shootout, in which England lost.
Lennon also came on as a substitute during a 5–0 Euro 2008 qualifying victory over Andorra on 2 September 2006 and made an instant impact by assisting Peter Crouch’s second goal after receiving the ball for the first time. He made his first start for England in a Euro 2008 qualifier against Israel in March 2007 and was also selected in the first XI for the following match against Andorra. This proved to be Lennon’s last appearance for exactly two years as it wasn’t until 28 March 2009 that he was selected again by England, starting in a friendly match with Slovakia at Wembley Stadium. Lennon started again for England when they played Ukraine on 1 April 2009 at Wembley.
He was called up for the friendly against Slovenia and the World Cup qualifier versus Croatia, following his fine form for Tottenham, and was named Nationwide Man of the Match in the 5–1 win over Croatia, their biggest defeat.
Lennon was named in manager Fabio Capello’s 23-man squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. At the tournament in South Africa, he started in England’s opening two fixtures; the 1–1 draw against the United States and in the 0–0 draw with Algeria.
- As of match played 2 January 2017
|Club||Season||League||National Cup||League Cup||Continental||Total|
|Leeds United||2003–04||Premier League||11||1||2||—||14|
|Tottenham Hotspur||2005–06||Premier League||27||2||1||1||—||29||2|
|Everton (loan)||2014–15||Premier League||14||2||—||—||—||14||2|
- As of match played 6 February 2013
- League Cup: 2007–08