By Anthony Onifade

25th Oct, 2023 | 10:10am

Omari Kellyman now surely set for first-team assurances at Aston Villa after behind scenes Unai Emery decision

Aston Villa sensation Omari Kellyman is set to put pen to paper on a new long-term deal at Villa Park, according to Express & Star.

The Midlands-based news outlet, writing on (25 October) shares that the teenager, who turned 18 last month is set to be rewarded by Unai Emery after breaking into the first team setup this season.

The Derby academy product, who joined Villa in March 2022, made his debut in August’s Europa Conference League tie with Hibernian and came off the bench in the Carabao Cup against Everton.

Kellyman signed his first professional deal a year ago and it is said Villa view him as a player with serious potential and were always keen to secure his services for the longer term once he turned 18 and was eligible.

The 18-year-old talent is certainly one of the most highly-regarded commodities in the Villa Park academy setup right now and it certainly seems as if Emery may well have big plans for him in the coming future.

However, those opportunities may not arrive pretty soon after a recent report regarding his recent omission from the Europa Conference League group-stage squad.

The Athletic reported on 18 October, that the Villa Park gem despite featuring in a qualifying clash against Hibernian, Kellyman is unable to play in the competition until the knock-out rounds due to an administrative issue.

The former Derby gem, after moving to Villa Park in 2022, had not been in the academy long enough to qualify for the squad as a graduate, meaning his game time will be severely limited this season.

A budding prospect waiting for his chance to impress would need competitive minutes throughout a season, even against lower-quality opposition. The Conference League provided the perfect platform for Kellyman to get some experience and understanding of the game in a first-team context.

He even got himself an assist against Hibs in the qualifier, suggesting he certainly has the ability to function in the first team. As per Transfermarkt, he’s scored four Premier League 2 goals in just three appearances so far, and one in the EFL Trophy showing he is ready for more exposure.

Kellyman is a playmaker by trade but happy to play in wide areas when needed and possesses an elegant and precise running style with the ball that is hard to find across the academy circuit.

The limited opportunities for the Aston Villa first team in the short term isn’t all doom and gloom. The club certainly have long-term plans for him, which is evidenced by the latest contract decision.

That in itself will hand Kellyman all the inclination he needs to know that he will be a key part of the club furniture very soon and his development must be better served playing at youth level right now. However, a loan move in January certainly cannot be ruled out.

Kellyman has made Unai Emery’s bench in the Premier League four times this season, so the boss does have a close eye on him and top-flight minutes are on the cards but the 18-year-old will certainly have to bide his time first.

What’s crucial is that Aston Villa see Kellyman as a key part of their burgeoning future under Unai Emery, and that’s all the encouragement both he and his family need right now.

In other Aston Villa news, the ball is in Youri Tielemans’ court over his future at the club.