‘Surprise Surprise’ Sylla to sign for Aston Villa

Aston Villa are reportedly close to signing French midfielder Yacouba Sylla from Clarmont Foot within the next 24 hours.

The 22-year-old defensive midfielder has been at Villa’s Bodymoor Heath training ground to finalise a deal with manager Paul Lambert and chief executive Paul Faulkner.

Sylla is a defensive midfielder that spent 4 years withBarcelona’s B team between 2002 and 2006. Much of his most recent career has been spent drifting around the lower regions of French football before signing a professional contract with Clarmont Foot in November. The contact was offered as a reaction to reputed interest from German side VFB Stuttgart and Italian club Udinese.

The news will come as a surprise to Villa fans who were just getting used to the idea of the club not signing any players this January, despite their precarious position in the league.

Many Villa fans have become increasingly frustrated with the boards lack of transfer activity, especially as struggling clubs around them all seem to be strengthening whilst the midland giants stand still.

The fee for Sylla is reported to be around the £3m mark, which will bemuse some of the Villa faithful still smarting at losing out to Newcastle for the signature of Sissoko. A player that made Villa’s lackluster midfield look as if they were running around in soiled nappies for 45 minutes on Tuesday night.

Sylla will be a represent a gamble for Lambert considering that he is a relatively unknown quantity. A defensive midfielder and dominant centre half are two of the positions that Villa fans have been desperate to see strengthened. At least this represents a move of intent from the Villa manager, albeit an unknown one.

Sylla is not a name that will excite Villa fans, but they will be glad just to see anybody come in right now. It’s unlikely that Villa will do much else in the transfer market unless they can raise funds with the sale of striker Darren Bent. Stoke are the latest club said to be interested in the former England man, apparently wanting to offer Kenwyne Jones as part of the deal.

image: © ell brown

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