Chelsea new boy Omari Kellyman left Wayne Rooney furious after devastating text

Omari Kellyman was sold by Derby County during Wayne Rooney’s time in charge (Image: CHELSEA FC/GETTY)

Chelsea’s newest signing Omari Kellyman left Wayne Rooney furious when he joined Aston Villa’s youth setup two years ago. The 18-year-old, who made just a handful of senior appearances for Villa, has signed a six-year deal at Stamford Bridge which includes the option of a further 12 months.

Kellyman joins Chelsea after two years at Villa Park, having joined the west Midlanders from Derby County in 2022. He spent a decade in the Rams’ academy system and was keenly admired by former boss Rooney before jumping ship to Villa.

Derby were struggling financially at the time and ended up being relegated to League One after receiving a points deduction from the EFL. They needed to sell players and chose to cash in on Kellyman, who moved to Villa for a transfer fee of around £725,000.

Kellyman spent a decade in Derby’s youth setup before joining Villa in 2022 (Image: GETTY)

At the time of Kellyman’s move to Villa, Rooney made it clear that he was not happy with the decision to let him leave. He was only informed about the deal via a text message, leaving the former United striker powerless to prevent it from happening.

He said: “I lost a player this morning, a 16-year-old local lad. I got a text message this morning that a deal had been agreed with Aston Villa. That is nine players throughout January we have lost when I was assured we didn’t have to lose any, so it is tough, but we keep fighting.

“He is a local lad from Derby. He didn’t want to leave the club. He wanted to play for Derby County and so when you see young local lads getting sold from the football club it is hard.

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“I am not from Derby but I know what it is like to come through an academy and have those dreams of playing for your team. It is a tough one for me and the staff to take.”

Kellyman will be hoping to kick on at Chelsea, who reportedly mentioned his name during talks with Villa over the sale of Ian Maatsen. The Blues are thought to retain an interest in Villa striker Jhon Duran, but Unai Emery is a huge fan and may be reluctant to sell him this summer.

Chelsea have developed a transfer policy of signing young players with high potential and are reportedly close to making another addition in this mould. According to Fabrizio Romano, they are nearing a deal to land Boca Juniors defender Aaron Anselmino, who is already said to have agreed personal terms.