Aston Villa players have told club chiefs they are unhappy with this season’s wet-look shirts, which they claim are weighing them down.
Head coach Unai Emery is thought to be aware of the issue, with Villa now working with sports manufacturer Castore to try to find a solution as quickly as possible.
Villa launched new home, away and third kits this season, but supporters have noticed the shirts quickly become wet through and cling to players during games due to perspiration.
Telegraph Sport understands that has prompted complaints from players, who believe it to be a performance issue and have told members of the Villa hierarchy that the shirts become uncomfortable and heavy.
The problem has been particularly obvious on the claret home shirts, which quickly turn much darker during games, but players have claimed the white away kit is just as bad.
Villa are two years into what was described as a multi-year deal with British sportswear manufacturer Castore and it remains to be seen whether or not the issue could affect that deal.
Newcastle United triggered an exit clause to free themselves of a contract with Castore that had been due to run to 2027 so they can switch to Adidas at the end of this season.
One source close to a Villa player told Telegraph Sport: “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.”
Villa have started the season encouragingly, winning four of their opening six Premier League games, but Emery will be keen for the complaints of his players to be swiftly dealt with.
The issue will not impact replica shirts bought by fans, with Villa not facing the possibility of having to recall kits or issue replacements to the public.
Any solution would likely require Castore to produce a new run of shirts for the players that do a much better job of absorbing sweat and remaining lightweight.
This season's Premier League shirts – ranked
Announcing what was described as a ‘landmark’ partnership with Castore in May 2022, Villa released a club statement that said: “Castore and Aston Villa are both aligned in terms of their future goals which include; striving for excellence, having a clear strategic direction and adopting a challenger mentality - making the new partnership a perfect synergy.”
Other than Villa and Newcastle, Castore have this season produced kits for Wolverhampton Wanderers, Rangers, Sevilla and Bayer Leverkusen among others.
Another new crest on the way
Separately, Villa have announced the club will launch a new crest for a second successive campaign after concluding that the round badge that features on this season’s shirts “has not had the impact which had been hoped”.
In an announcement on the club’s website, Villa say they will canvas the opinion of supporters before selecting a permanent new-look crest ahead of the club’s 150th anniversary next year.
Villa entertain Everton in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night in front of what could be their lowest Villa Park crowd since their return to the Premier League.
The Midlands club have faced criticism from supporters for taking their first Carabao Cup game off season tickets and charging a minimum of £30 for an adult ticket.