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'It was really a no-brainer' - U.S. U-20 Vassilev signs new deal with Aston Villa after breaking through with first team

00:59 BST 19/05/2020
Vassilev Aston Villa 2020
The 19-year-old discussed making his debut this season as he extended his contract with the Premier League side

U.S. U-20 men's national team star Indiana Vassilev has signed a new contract with Aston Villa, the club announced on Monday.

Vassilev and Villa have finalized a new two-year deal that will keep the teenager with the club through June 2022.

"It was really a no-brainer," Vassilev told Villa TV. "This past year they've supported me a lot and thankfully I was able to break my way into the first team. Since I've broken into the first team, I've received a lot of support from everyone, staff and players included, so really it was a no-brainer. 

"I'm really happy to sign for another two years, keep on working hard and hopefully the future will hold a lot of great things."

He added: "It's a massive club, great support, and at the end of the day I want to feel comfortable in the environment I'm playing in. The gaffer, the staff, the players make me feel welcomed. At the end of the day, it was a combination of the club's history, the club itself, players making me feel welcome, staff as well. It was just a combination of everything and it wasn't a very difficult decision to make."

Vassilev has made four appearances for the first team, having emerged as a fixture for Villa's U-23 team since joining the club in 2018.

Of those four appearances, two came in the Premier League, one in the FA Cup and one in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Leicester City. 

"It was an absolute blur. I almost didn't have time to process it because it was almost one after another," the 19-year-old said of his breakthrough with Villa. "It was a span of three weeks and I debuted in three different com[petitions, so it was a huge blur.

"Towards February it started to sink it, and it was a very enjoyable moment and a high part of my career so far, but there's a lot of hard work to go and to come, so obviously I want to get better and better."

"It was difficult. I'm not going to say that it was a smooth and easy transition, it's going to be difficult," he added. "I was a young player going into a very experienced squad. You take it on a day-to-day basis. Slowly but surely, you find your way into the team. That starts on the training ground. You have to give 100 percent every day and over time you gain the respect of the team, but I'm not going to say it was easy because it wasn't."

Vassilev, who was born in Georgia, has represented the U.S. up to a U-20 level after previously featuring at the 2017 U-17 World Cup.

The teenager has also been courted by Bulgaria but has declined call-ups to represent the European nation.