Aston Villa's Aly Cissokho enjoying attacking freedom under Remi Garde

Aly Cissokho

The 28-year-old left-back has been given license to get forward by the Villa boss since returning early from his loan spell at Porto.

Aston Villa left-back Aly Cissokho has told AVTV that he is enjoy the opportunity to showcase his attacking qualities in Remi Garde’s side.

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

Speaking in November, the Frenchman explained that he was advised to seek out a move because Sherwood believed he was not good enough going forward, telling L’Equipe: “The coach, Tim Sherwood, said he was looking for a more offensive profile than mine, and that if I had the opportunity to find a loan, then the club wouldn't keep me.”

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

The new boss previously managed Cissokho at Ligue 1 side Lyon between 2011 and 2012, and in seeking a replacement left-back, came to an agreement with Porto last month to have his compatriot’s spell in Portugal cut short.

The former Liverpool defender has since made three straight Premier League starts, and as well as proving solid at the back, has shown some good things at the other end of the pitch after being given license to get forward.

Saturday’s 1-1 home draw with high-flying Leicester City saw him record not only six crosses but also two shots during the 90 minutes, in addition to attempting 12 of his 52 total passes in the final third.

Speaking after the Leicester game about his attacking freedom under Garde, Cissokho told AVTV: Yes, I have some opportunities. The gaffer lets me go up when I want. He lets me play free.

“That’s why I can go forward and shoot. Now if I have an opportunity to shoot and score, I will do it.”

 Vs Leicester Total ShotsShots OntargetTotal PassesPassing AccuracyTotal Final Third PassesSuccessful Final Third PassesTotal CrossesAccurate CrossesTotal TacklesDuel WonDuel SuccessMins Played
Aly Cissokho 2 2 52 75% 12 7 6 2 2 10 91% 90

Villa's attention now turns to Tuesday night’s FA Cup third round replay against Wycombe Wanderers, but it remains to be seen whether Cissokho will be featuring.

The one-time capped France international was rested on the bench for the disappointing 1-1 draw at Adams Park earlier this month, when Kieran Richardson started at left-back instead, but he has vowed not to take the League Two side for granted if he is in the line-up this time around.

“I think every game is important,” he added. “Obviously for us, the Premier League is more important, but the FA Cup is still good for us. We’re going to play seriously. We have to be ready because the game we played there wasn’t good enough, so have to make sure that we’re going to win on Tuesday.

“We’ve show that we have character. We fight until the end, and if we don’t do that on Tuesday it’s going to be hard. We have to remember the game about we played there.

"When you don’t play 100 per cent, they can be at the same level. That’s why on Tuesday we have to prepare ourselves well and make sure we win this game.”

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