Aly Cissokho happy to return early to Aston Villa

Aly Cissokho

The 28-year-old defender had his season-long loan at Porto cut short last month by manager Remi Garde, who he previously played under during his time at French side Lyon.

Aston Villa left-back Aly Cissokho has told AVTV that he jumped at the chance to return early from his loan spell at Porto because of his relationship with manager Remi Garde.

Cissokho, 28, originally joined Porto on a season-long loan in early August, having been deemed surplus to requirements under former boss Tim Sherwood following the £10 million summer signing of Jordan Amavi from Nice.

Amavi subsequently suffered a season-ending knee injury while playing for France Under-21s in mid-November, however, less than two weeks after Garde replaced Sherwood at the helm.

As a result, the former Lyon boss was forced to use either Kieran Richardson or utility man Leondro Bacuna at the position over the following seven games, before managing to strike a deal with Porto to have Cissokho’s spell with the Portuguese side cut short last month.

The pair previously worked together at Lyon between 2009 and 2012, when Garde served on the coaching staff and later as manager from June 2011, and his fellow Frenchman was eager to form a reunion in the West Midlands.

“I worked with him at Lyon so he knows me and knew what I could do,” Cissokho told AVTV on Garde. “So he called me, and as I have a good relationship with him, I knew that if he needed me I would say yes.

“Of course, I know his way to work and how manages the team, and what he asks for at the left-back position. For me, some things are better and that is why I was very pleased to come back.

“I hope to play many games. I’m ready for it, but of course, it’s not because I worked with him at Lyon that I’m going to play every game. I need to play well and bring some things to help the team, and then I will play.

“But if I’m not doing well then, of course, someone else will.”

Cissokho had a previous spell at Porto in 2009 before his recent short-term stint, but the one-time capped France international managed just three appearances for the club this time around before returning to Villa.

Nevertheless, he insists that he enjoyed his second six-month stay at the Estadio do Dragao despite his lack of game time, adding: “It was a good experience. I played there five years ago and this season, so it was a good opportunity for me.

“I enjoyed the six months there, but of course I’ve got my contract with Villa and when the new manager called me I said yes straight away.”

Villa, meanwhile, currently sit 11 points from safety at the foot of the Premier League following last Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Sunderland, having recorded just eight points and one win from 20 games, while also scoring a division-low 16 goals.

Cissokho, who started the Black Cats loss upon becoming eligible to feature with the opening of the transfer window, admits that the club now face a tough task to retain their top-flight status, but he is not giving up without a fight after being handed the chance to revive his career in England.

“I’m very happy and very proud to be back and playing in the Premier League,” he added. “I know that the situation is not easy for the football club but I will try to give my best and I hope we are going to have a better second half to the season.

“We didn’t start the season well, but many games are coming and I think we need those first three points and then we can get points game by game.”

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