*Age on opening day of the season
FAC: FA Cup; FL: Football League; D1: Division 1; D2: Division 2; D3: Division 3; PL: Premier League; CH: Championship
FULL SEASON BREAKDOWN
Indiana Denchev Vassilev
Friday, 16 February 2001
2017-19 Aston Villa Under 18s |
2019-20 Aston Villa Under 23s |
Sunday, 1 October 2017
IMG Academy |
2020-21 Burton Albion, 17 Sep 20 to 28 Jan 21 |
2021 Cheltenham Town, 29 Jan 21 to 31 May 21 |
2021-22 Inter Miami, 7 Jul 21 to 31 Dec 21 |
MLS, 7 (14) | 3 |
Seasons Active, Fee, Starts (Sub) | Goals |
2019- Aston Villa, Free, 0 (5) | 0 |
Dean Smith |
First Squad Appearance
Saturday, 4 January 2020
Saturday, 4 January 2020
Fulham (a), FA Cup
Yet to score
Final Squad Appearance
Plays for the Villa
(5 ft 7 in) 1.75 m
Player #945 for Aston Villa, Indiana Denchev Vassilev, known as Indiana Vassilev has played as a winger for the club since the 2019-20 season.
Indiana was born in Savannah, Georgia of Bulgarian heritage on 16 February 2001 and made his debut appearance in the Villa squad at the age of 18 on the 4th January 2020 coming on to make his debut as an 80th minute substitute for Marvelous Nakamba in the FA Cup 3rd Round defeat to Fulham.
Villa had signed Indiana from IMG Academy, Florida in October 2017 at the age of 16 having been spotted by Villa scouts during the 2017 Under 17s World Cup.
Described as a “a technically sound player who is comfortable across midfield and even in attack. He has a wand of a left foot and flourishes in sides keen to get the ball down and play free-flowing football.”
Indiana sounded like a perfect player for Dean Smith’s footballing philosophy and during 2019-20 he made 6 substitute appearances.
Indiana arrived at Villa already the subject of plaudits with Rusty Scarborough, head of the IMG Academy during Vassilev’s time there saying “On the field, you know he’s out there, he’s a leader, people follow him. The technical aspect he’s developed at a young age so now he’s phenomenal on the ball, passing, dribbling, shooting, heading, receiving.
Kevin Hartman, a coach at the IMG Academy, added “He [Vassilev] understands what’s going on around him and it allows him to not only be better himself, but it makes the players around him better. He’s got great leadership qualities and he’s got an undying desire to win every time he plays. That competitiveness is an attribute that I think every coach is going to be looking for and it really drives development. His future is boundless. He has all the physical capabilities of a top level player. The attributes and the characteristics that he has within are the ones that will drive his development. I don’t see a limit to what he can achieve.”
Ahead of the 2020-21 campaign Dean Smith sent Indiana out on loan to League One side Burton Albion for the season to gain game time in a similar move Villa made with Jack Grealish to Notts County in the 2013-14 season.
Vassilev returned to Villa in January 2021 after Burton decided to end his loan spell early. Vassilev began the season as a starter under Jake Buxton but fell out of favour with Buxton before he was sacked just before the turn of the year because of the club’s poor form.
In October 2020 after a match against Rochdale, Buxton had said “He’s been improving with the minutes each week … He’s a good lad and his performances have got better each game and I thought tonight…I singled him out after the game to say that his performance was at the level which was required. He ran his socks off on Saturday against Bristol Rovers and I expected him to be short of energy and not be quite right. He trained really brightly yesterday and he stayed in the side and he was one of the positives tonight.”
Yet Vassilev played just 12 times for Burton and was only victorious on one occasion whilst failing to provide a goal or assist. By the time his loan ended he had made only one appearance in 11 games, coming off the substitute’s bench for the 1-0 defeat to Ipswich Town in his final game with the club.
On his return from Burton Albion, Villa sent Vassilev out on loan for the remainder of the 2020-21 season to Cheltenham Town.