Highly-rated England-born Zimbabwean defender Thierry Katsukunya has signed his first professional contract with English Premier League side Aston Villa.
Katsukunya, who plays as a centre-back, is highly regarded at the English Premier League side which is also home to Zimbabwe Warriors midfielder Marvelous Nakamba.
“Aston Villa is pleased to announce Thierry Katsukunya has signed his first professional contract with the club,” the Birmingham-based Premier League side in a statement on their official website.
“The young defender signed for Villa in November 2021 at the age of 16, moving across the midlands from Coventry City where he had been since 2014.”
Aston Villa Academy Manager Mark Harrison said he was delighted to see Katsukunya being rewarded with a professional contract after showing loads of potential since joining the club from Coventry City.
“We are delighted to see Thierry sign his first professional contract. It is a recognition of the potential he has displayed and his excellent attitude,” Harrison said.
“This has also led to him being involved in our Under-21s and being selected for Wales at Under-17s level. We look forward to seeing how he continues to develop with us.”
Katsukunya joined Aston Villa from their near-neighbours Coventry City nine months ago aged 16.
He has wasted no time in proving his worth and has made a positive impression with some solid performances for the club’s Under-21 side.
The 17-year-old was born in England to a Zimbabwean father and a Welsh mother.
He has represented Wales at the Under-17 level but could still switch international allegiance to Zimbabwe as he qualifies to represent the Warriors through his father.
However, with Zimbabwean football facing a bleak future due to the country’s indefinite suspension from international football by FIFA due to government interference in the administration of the sport, Katsukunya would be inclined to pursue his international career with Wales.