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Chelsea transfer news: Aston Villa teen Omari Kellyman 'to join' in £19m transfer

Who is Omari Kellyman? Villa teen 'to join' Chelsea for £19m
© Reuters
Chelsea are allegedly on the brink of completing the shock £19m signing of Omari Kellyman, but who is the Aston Villa academy graduate?

Chelsea have been linked with a wide array of top prospects since the end of the season, many of whom have made notable impacts at their respective clubs.

However, that is not the case with regards to Aston Villa's Omari Kellyman, who is allegedly on the brink of signing for Chelsea in a £19m transfer.

The reported deal, as per transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, is being finalised in conjunction with Ian Maatsen moving in the opposite direction for almost double the fee.

Such agreements will naturally raise a lot of eyebrows. Both clubs are under pressure to meet the Premier League's Profit and Sustainability Rules by the next accounting date of June 30, and this scenario is largely playing out for that reason.

Should the two transfers go through, Villa will be getting a player in Maatsen who has just starred on loan for Borussia Dortmund during the second half of the campaign, helping the Bundesliga giants reach the Champions League final.

As for Kellyman, he is taking his chances at Chelsea with barely any senior football to his name. Here, Sports Mole takes a look at the background of the attacker.

Aston Villa forward Omari Kellyman in action against Hibernian on August 31, 2023.© Reuters

Kellyman's first-team experience

The 18-year-old has accumulated a total of 148 minutes across six appearances, a respectable amount for a player who does not turn 19 until September.

That said, of his five outings in 2023-24, he was rarely involved in a competitive fixture - the only time coming when Villa were trailing Everton in the EFL Cup third round.

Kellyman was introduced as a substitute in heavy defeats at Manchester City and Crystal Palace, while his Europa Conference League outings came when ties against Hibernian and Ajax were already over.

In a 90-minute run-out came against Hibs, Kellyman partnered Jhon Duran - a previous Chelsea target - in a two-man attack and provided an assist for Villa's second goal.

How did Kellyman perform at youth level?

Kellyman only made the switch to Villa in 2021-22, initially featuring on five occasions for Derby County's academy side, but he has since made 45 appearances for Villa's Under-18 and Under-21 teams.

A total of 14 goals and six assists have been registered during such outings, with seven strikes coming from 11 Premier League 2 games in 2023-24.

Despite the transfer fee that is involved, it is plausible that more reserve-team appearances may be on their way during the next campaign.

Does Kellyman have a future at Chelsea?

The cynical view on this transfer is that it is only the clubs that stand to benefit. Kellyman was in and around the Villa squad, yet it was highly unlikely that he would be starting games over the next 12 months.

Chelsea will be in no immediate rush to blood Kellyman in the senior ranks. The transfer outlay will be spread over a number of years and not impact the club in the short term.

A loan move to a Championship or League One club should not be ruled out, though, in the hope of readying Kellyman for a spot in Enzo Maresca's squad in the future.

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