Aston Villa players have reached out to club chiefs to raise concerns over the material of their Castore playing shirts for this season, according to reports. The west Midlands club have been outfitted by Castore for the last two years, with the British sportswear company signing a long-term partnership in May 2022.
Villa launched new home, away and third kits this season but it has been noticed that the shirts quickly become wet through and cling to players during matches. The issue has prompted complaints from the players and they think the strip is hampering their performances because it is uncomfortable to wear and too heavy, according to The Telegraph.
A source said: “The players are having to play in soaking wet t-shirts and it is a problem that needs to be solved. It cannot go on all season. The players look like they’ve jumped in a swimming pool after about 10 minutes.”
It is said that Unai Emery is aware of the problem and that Villa are now working with Castore in a bid to find a quick-fire solution. In order for the issue to be fixed, Castore would likely need to produce a new run of match shirts for players that do a much better job of absorbing sweat and staying lightweight.
The problem has been particularly obvious on the claret and blue home shirts, which quickly become soaked through during matches and take on a much darker colour than usual. It does not impact replica shirts bought by fans, though, with Villa not expected to recall products that have been sold to the public.
It remains to be seen whether the issue will impact Villa’s long-term deal with Castore if finding a solution proves difficult. Newcastle recently activated a break clause in their deal with the brand, which was set to run until 2027, in order to switch to Adidas at the end of the current season.
Castore have stepped up their involvement in football over the last few years after securing kit partnerships with the likes of Villa, Rangers, Wolves, Bayer Leverkusen and Utrecht. Their products have often been criticised for being insufficient quality, though, with a number of shirts worn by players having ripped during matches.
Anthony Gordon’s shirt was torn during Newcastle’s big win over Sheffield United last weekend, while Alexander Isak suffered a similar problem against Villa earlier in the campaign. There have also been instances of club badges not being in the right place, with one of Ivan Rakitic’s shirts last season not featuring the Sevilla crest at all.
Back in January, the badge of Wolves player Nelson Semedo was upside down on his shirt during their match against Villa at Molineux. Only time will tell if Castore manage to fix their apparent quality issues in response to the latest complaints from Villa players, although they do not seem to be affecting results with Emery’s side having won four of their opening six Premier League matches.
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