By James Murray

21st Oct, 2023 | 5:10pm

Aston Villa to find next 'superstar' as young duo head to Bodymoor Heath within days

Aston Villa could be set to find the next superstar as two young Japanese players will train with the club’s academy later this month.

The Athletic’s David Ornstein reported on Thursday (19 October) that the Villans have entered into a strategic partnership with Vissel Kobe.

As part of the agreement, two members of the J1 League’s U-16 side will train with the Villa academy at the club’s Bodymoor Heath training ground when a delegation from the Japanese outfit visits Birmingham at the end of October.

The main aim of the partnership is to enhance youth development, share knowledge and open up pathways for Japanese players to play for Villa.

Speaking to Villa News about the agreement, Alan Hutton said: “If you’ve got the next superstar coming through or a player who’s going to go onto the next level, Villa can think ‘let’s bring him over here to have a look’. Especially if they’re young. And then they’ll see if they can work them into what they’re doing. It’s a good pathway for youngsters all over the world.”

It’s an exciting development for the club that opens them up to a pool of players that previously they wouldn’t have had much knowledge of.

The game is rapidly developing in Japan – domestically and in terms of the success the national team has experienced recently – and far more players from the Asian country are making the move over to Europe to play.

Celtic are one club in the UK that have benefited massively from bringing in Japanese talents over the past couple of years on relatively cheap deals that have strengthened the first team and could go on to make them a significant amount of money.

Kobe’s visit to Villa at the end of this month will provide two of their youngsters with the perfect opportunity to impress the academy staff and prove that they can compete at the required standard.

A Villans academy team will also be travelling out to Japan in 2024 to take part in an international tournament, where they will get some excellent experience in a different environment.

The partnership could potentially open up the door for some of the club’s youngsters to head out to Kobe in the future to represent their senior side and earn some valuable playing time in a first-team environment.

This is a move that can only benefit Villa in the future and it’s a forward-thinking approach to tap into a new market for the club, opening up the opportunity to find what could be one of the next big talents in the years to come.

In other Aston Villa news, a Villa youngster could be one to watch following his “exceptional” progress.