Aston Villa have confirmed the signing of 17-year-old winger Omar Kedhr from Zed FC this morning, with the Egyptian joining once he turns 18.
Words: Regan Foy | @findfoy
Aston Villa have this morning confirmed the signing of highly sought after Egyptian winger Omar Kedhr from their sister club, Zed FC.
The 17-year-old forward has signed a pre-contract agreement and will official join the Villans on 1st July 2024 when he turns 18. The youngster will join up with the Aston Villa Academy.
Kedhr is the first signing to move between Zed FC and Aston Villa since the partnership was agreed earlier this year. Zed FC is currently owned by Naguib Sawiris, brother to Aston Villa’s owner Nassef Sawiris. This partnership was created as Aston Villa partnered with Vitoria Sport Clube in Portugal, allowing young Egyptian players to develop in the United Kingdom or Portugal.
Zed are a relatively new club, and were founded in 2010 – but won the ‘Best Youth Academy in Africa’ award at the 2021 Globe Soccer Awards – which bodes well for this and any further arrangements between Zed and Villa.
Omar Kedhr spent time on trial at the club with a number of other Egyptian youngsters in April, following his standout performances in the ‘U17 Zed International Cup’ that saw him named Player of the Tournament. The tournament was played between Al-Ahly, Aston Villa, Zed FC, Vitoria Sport Clube, Feyenoord and Panathinaikos.
Kedhr was pictured alongside Douglas Luiz and Philippe Coutinho at Bodymoor Heath a few months ago, as he was joined by peers Abdelmonem Tamer, Marwan Mahmoud and Mostafa Okasha during what could have been an initial trial period following the tournament.
Since then, the 17-year-old has returned to Bodymoor Heath and spent time there in the past month – joined by fellow countryman and club ambassador Ahmed Elmohamady.
Seen as one of the most promising talents in Egyptian football, Kedhr was thought to be joining Vitoria up until recently – but with the changes imposed to UEFA surrounding V Sports part-ownership of the Portuguese club, it seems that the Villans are “cutting out the middle man”.
Aston Villa have beat a number of leading clubs across Europe and further afield for the signature of the forward, with Kedhr attracting attention for some time now.