Omari Kellyman's Chelsea transfer proves Nassef Sawiris' Aston Villa gripe correct

Omari Kellyman joined Aston Villa in 2022
-Credit: (Image: Photo by Rob Newell - CameraSport via Getty Images)


Omari Kellyman's proposed move to Chelsea is further proof the Premier League's Profit and Sustainability Rules (PSRs) are broken.

He would become the latest Aston Villa youngster to leave the club purely because his sale would reflect as pure profit. Cameron Archer - who is set to return this summer after Sheffield United's relegation - Aaron Ramsey and Jaden Philogene were all sold last summer so Villa could spend on Pau Torres and Moussa Diaby.

Meanwhile, Carney Chukwuemeka left Villa for Chelsea back in the summer of 2020, but his case is different because he pushed for a move and did not want to extend his contract at Villa Park. Tim Iroegbunam is also heading for the exit door as he has agreed to a move to Everton.

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Villa will receive £9m for Iroegbunam, while 21-year-old Lewis Dobbin is expected to head to Villa in a separate deal. Villa are selling Kellyman to Chelsea after the Blues agreed to sell their 22-year-old left-back Ian Maatsen earlier this week. The Dutch international will also reflect as pure profit on Chelsea's books once he joins Villa.

Kellyman impressed during pre-season last summer and would have been given another opportunity to catch Unai Emery's eye in the next two months before the new Premier League season starts. The 18-year-old signed a contract extension in November 2023 after making his senior debut in the Europa Conference League against Hibernian.

The attacking midfielder, who joined the club from Derby County last year, also gained international recognition with England Under-19s at the beginning of the last campaign. He was ruled out for a number of months with a hamstring injury before the New Year, but still managed to score seven goals in the 11 Premier League 2 appearances he made last term.

Kellyman made his Premier League debut in April in the defeat against Manchester City, before he then came off the bench again in the final day defeat at Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

After he penned an extension nearly eight months, the club's academy manager Mark Harrison said: "The first team staff have been very positive about his [Kellyman's] development so far and we look forward to that continuing. This is also a great example of the continued integration between the academy and the first team."

Emery calls up a number of academy players to train with the first-team and he handed out several debuts to academy stars last term. Yet, PSRs determine that Villa and many other top-flight clubs are more inclined to flog their promising youngsters, which can't sit right with anyone.

Villa co-owner Nassef Sawiris recently highlighted this flaw to the Financial Times as he feels the incentivised sales of homegrown talent penalises a club’s loyalty and commitment to their own young players.

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