Abbott, a former coach of Leeds Unitedâ€™s youth sides, needed â€śthree secondsâ€ť to spot Lennonâ€™s ability in an Under-14 match in 2001 but wondered whether a move to London would represent too much, too soon.
Abbott, now manager of League One side Carlisle United, told the London Evening Standard: â€śPlanting him in London was probably done a year too early. Manchester United and Liverpool wanted him and they are much closer to his family in Leeds.
â€śI believe he found it hard work in London because Aaron is a family boy but he got over it. At Leeds I made sure I was always there for Aaron and his family if there were any issues.
â€śI went to his house and drove him to games to make sure we werenâ€™t caught out by interest from other clubs. We got him to sign a pro contract with Leeds, he played 43 games and got his move. I spoke to him before our Capital One Cup game against Spurs last September and he was still so grounded. He wasnâ€™t talking about his success or lifestyle but about his family and time at Leeds. He gave me a signed shirt and it has pride of place.â€ť