It’s been a dark few years for Aaron Lennon, both on and off the pitch but now, the 21-time capped England winger, looks back to his best under Sean Dyche at Burnley.
Spending no less than a decade at Tottenham Hotspur, Lennon never really lived up to his potential despite making over 250 appearances for the North London club, where he was undoubtedly a huge fans favorite.
However, as “Spurs” continued to grow as a club under the management of Mauricio Pochettino, Lennon’s soon found himself on the outside looking both at club and international level.
As a result, the pacey winger was loaned out to Everton in 2015 and made fourteen appearances for the “Toffees”.
Returning to parent club Spurs in pre-season, Lennon’s hopes of a run of games at White Hart Lane were soon quashed when he failed to receive a squad number and was sent to train with the clubs under-21s.
When Lennon eventually signed off on a permanent move to Everton, it came as little surprise to many, with followers of the Merseyside club full of expectations regarding their returning star.
Sadly, those expectations were not met as Lennon once again found himself in the cold, this time under the guise of confrontational boss, Ronald Koeman.
Playing just 14 minutes of the 2016/17 campaign’s opening two months, on 30 April 2017, news broke that Lennon had been detained under the Mental Health Act 2007.
He was taken to hospital “for assessment” after police were called to reports of danger to a man’s life in Salford.
Lennon was said to be “receiving care and treatment for a stress-related illness”, according to an Everton Football Club press release.
Thankfully, Lennon was able to overcome his personal struggles and in fact helped offer hope to others going through a similar blight, by not only returning to top flight action at Goodison Park but by encouraging those affected by mental health issues to seek help and know that they weren’t alone.
On 23 January 2018, Lennon signed for Burnley and has looked back to his best at Turf Moore. Making his fourth appearance for his new club earlier today, Jamie Carragher described the former Leeds man as “one of the best in Premier League history in terms of one v ones”.
Glued to the right-hand-touchline against Sam Allardyce’s struggling “Toffess” today, Lennon gave his former club a torrid time as he not only created problems with his direct running style but also played a major role in Burnley’s winner by dispossessing an opposition player in the final third before Ashley Barnes won an all important corner.
This resulted in another which was headed home by New Zeland target-man, Chris Wood as the home side came from behind to claim all three points, the first time in Premier League history Sean Dyche’s side have managed to come from behind and win.
While it may be premature to write the revival of Lennon’s career after only four outings at his new club, football fans up and down the country will be delighted to see Lennon back doing what he loves on a consistent basis.
Also, given Sean Dyche’s counter-attacking style of play and the fact Burnley often opt to play with two big target men, as seen today against a poor Everton side, Lennon’s opportunities to create chances on the break should be plentiful.
With Burnley reaching the magic 40-point marker following today’s come from behind victory, Sean Dyche’s men can now attack the final third of the Premier League season with a certain sense of freedom, safe in the knowledge that their current league position of seventh will be seen as an over-achievement should they remain there come May.
As a result, many will be keen to track the progress of the reborn Aaron Lennon, who at 30 years of age, still has plenty to offer a league in which he has made more than 300 appearances and scored over 30 goals.