One of many fine young talents produced by the Derby County academy, Omari Kellyman was snatched from the Rams in their time of need in order to raise funds whilst in administration.
Aston Villa secured the teenager’s services for a reported fee of £600,000 in compensation last year, and despite being yet to feature for the Villans’ first team in a competitive fixture, he has shone brightly in pre-season.
The 17-year-old played the second half of Villa’s Premier League Summer Series match against Newcastle United and was unfortunate not to score as his effort hit the post and trickled into the path of Emi Buendia who then finished from close range.
Supporters heaped praise on the young midfielder, with many touting him to be a big success in the West Midlands.
A compilation of his display has done the rounds on Twitter, and Derby look to have missed out on a massive talent due to the abhorrent running of the club at the time.
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Villa boss Unai Emery was extremely pleased with Kellyman’s performance.
“Omari for 45 minutes today I think was very good and he did brilliant,” said Emery.
“In moments he showed his quality and his skill, and of course he has to improve and be stronger in his body but we are working on it.”
Kellyman should not set the tone
Unfortunately for the Rams, this is not the only example of their young talent being picked up for a tuppence because of their financial struggles two seasons ago.
Bright prospects Luke Plange and Malcolm Ebiowei both parted ways for Crystal Palace last summer. Festy Ebosele left to join Udinese, whilst Kaide Gordon departed for Liverpool during the season beforehand.
Now under new ownership, Derby will be hoping to avoid that trend repeating itself.
Being a club that prides itself on the transition from its academy to the first team, it is about time that the players produced by the Rams actually stick around to play regularly at Pride Park.