While Aston Villa loanee Yacouba Sylla remains determined to return to England next season, the 24-year-old midfielder admits that his future at the club is up in the air.
Sylla first joined Villa from French second division side Clermont Foot in January 2013 for around £2 million, showing enough during his first few months in the Midlands for some to hail him as the team’s long-term answer in the holding role.
The Mali international’s first full campaign at Villa Park did not go at all to plan, however, as he made just 11 league appearances in a side battling against relegation for most of 2013-14, failing to get off the bench for the final two months of the season.
Subsequently shipped out to Turkish Super Lig club Kayseri Erciyesspor on a season-long loan this past summer, Sylla has impressed during his time on the other side of Europe but, with manager Paul Lambert since moving to sign Carlos Sanchez to fill his former role, isn’t sure what plans the Claret and Blues have for him moving forward.
“I'm focused on the season in Turkey,” he said in an interview with France Football. “Aston Villa is the club to which I belong, the club where I progressed.
“I always look out for their results. I left to come back stronger, but the truth of tomorrow is we do not know. There are a lot of unemployed people so I'm not going to fuss, though. I remain privileged.
"I could not fall lower than last season,” he continued. “Here, I have the chance to establish myself, even if I always have something to prove.
“This is what I expected. I did not want to travel to all four corners of England on the bench. Last season, I may have made mistakes, but I know I gave everything. That dark season with Aston Vila does not leave bad memories because we learn through the difficulty.”
With a contract until 2016, it remains to be seen what will happen to Sylla when he comes back to Villa next season but, given the current injury crisis in midfield, one wonders whether he might have been set to get a run in the line-up had he been kept around.