Pros 17.05.2023 — 16:39 Uhr

Aarón on his decision to leave and the desire for “something new”

Left-back set to leave after five years in Mainz

Aarón has gained a reputation for delivering successful free kicks.

Aarón Martín Caricol is set to leave 1. FSV Mainz 05 at the end of the season. The 26-year-old, who joined FSV in 2018 from Espanyol, will leave having featured in 116 Bundesliga games for the club (should head coach Bo Svensson use him in the final two games against VfB Stuttgart and Borussia Dortmund). During a press conference, the former U21 EURO winner with Spain spoke about the decision to leave the club and his plans for the future.

Still undecided

“We sat down together a while back and came to the mutual decision that we would part ways after five years together,” Aarón said. “We aren’t parting on bad terms. It’s just the case that things have run their course after five years to pursue something new.” The left-back left questions about his future unanswered, saying “I still have two important games ahead of me and want to end on a high. After that, I will sit down and concern myself with next season and what’s next. Of course there are people monitoring my situation. We’ll see what happens at the end of the season,” he said. The defender has been linked with Eintracht Frankfurt recently, but brushed off the rumours saying “There hasn’t been any contact between us.” 

Most expensive signing in FSV history 

Aarón joined Espanyol as an eight-year-old and stayed at the club for the next 13 years. He made his professional debut at the club and quickly became a regular starter for them. In his debut season with the first team, he featured in 30 of a possible 38 league matches, before going on to appear in 32 games the following season. FSV signed the Spaniard on loan before making the move permanent the following year, making him the most expensive signing in FSV history. Asked whether this distinction put any pressure on him, Aarón said “It’s also an acknowledgement of my value to have had this price tag attached to me, but as a player I had to make sure I didn’t focus too much on this. That’s what I tried to do,” he said. 

Now and then, reports would surface of the 26-year-old wanting to return to his home country. However, he shared that this is not his primary focus at the time. Instead, he can imagine moving to a different Bundesliga side. “I don’t have to play in Spain, but I’m open for anything and will choose the best option for myself. I want to take the time I need to make the correct decision,” he said. 

Free-kick specialist 

During his time at FSV, the Spaniard earned himself a spot in the starting XI on a regular basis, appearing in 48 of 51 games (6 assists). He dropped to the bench under former head coach Achim Beierlorzer before going on loan to Celta de Vigo in winter 2020/21. Under Bo Svensson, Aarón regained his spot as a regular starter following Phillip Mwene’s departure to PSV. The Spaniard has been competing for the starting left-back role with Anthony Caci this term, but has still managed to set a new personal best for goal involvement in a single season (5 goals, 3 assists). He drew the eye with his talent for scoring free-kick goals. “We always work on this in training,” he shared, adding that he would also spend extra time sharpening his skills with assistant coach Patrick Kaniuth. “It’s part of my training plan, which has really paid off,” he said. The fact that he’s been able to contribute plenty of goals and assists this season is also down to the tactical decisions given to the team by the head coach. “Under Bo, we have the freedom to attack. I’ve definitely profited from that,” Aarón said. “He’s a fantastic coach, both on and off the pitch. He has a clear idea of how he wants us to play and his training sessions are always different, so that we’re never bored. He’s definitely a coach that seeks to understand and get close to his players and doesn’t hold himself above them. That’s what makes him a well-rounded coach in my eyes, because he gives good advice both on and off the pitch.” The five years he spent in Mainz were a great learning experience, Aarón said about his time at the club. “I really learned a lot. Mainz 05 have an important place in my life and I learned a lot here, which is why I will always have fond memories of my time here,” he said. 

That’s what makes him a well-rounded coach in my eyes, because he gives good advice both on and off the pitch.

That learning process started with living abroad for the first time. “There were a lot of new tactical concepts too. It was a completely different environment for me, both on and also off the pitch. I don't think it will be any different when I’m looking for a new club. It will be another new chapter with a lot to learn,” said Aarón, who added that his goal is always to keep learning and developing. “Of course I would love to play in Europe; that’s one of my goals. Every player always wants to improve, but at the same time learn new things.”

The full back has recorded an impressive return of 15 goal involvements in 114 Bundesliga games.

Hope for a successful farewell

Chances to qualify for Europe with FSV this season have dwindled in recent weeks; something that has perhaps made now a good time to open a new chapter, both in a footballing and personal sense. “We had a great run that included the 3-1 win against Bayern,” said Aarón. “Since then, things have not gone well. We were obviously really excited and we had the Wolfsburg game where we weren't all that bad, but we noticed that what worked well before was no longer working properly, including mentally. Then we had the game against Schalke, which was an absolute must-win if we wanted to achieve what we were all hoping for, but we suffered a defeat in the last minute. That was a big dampener for us and might have played a part in our performance in Frankfurt.”

Aarón will say goodbye to the Mainz fans this weekend at the last home game of the season at the MEWA ARENA. “I hope we can win our last two games and finish a successful season on a high note. The fans deserve that and so do we.” FSV will go into the game in 9th place with 45 points as they host relegation-threatened Stuttgart on Sunday.