At the age of 24, it is surprising that highly-rated central midfielder Guessouma Fofana is still plying his trade in the second division of French football. Yet, he may be hopping into a far more illustrious division sooner rather than later.
The Daily Mail claims that Aston Villa are one of a number of English sides scouting the £4million-rated Amiens midfielder with their eyes on a summer move.
CEO Keith Wyness claimed recently that the Championship side would make subtle tweaks to their side in the summer after this season’s top-to-bottom rebuild. So the fact that Fofana may be one of the chosen few additions highlights just how highly they rate him at Villa Park.
Yet if Villa supporters are suffering spates of déjà vu, there may be a very obvious reason. The Midlands club spent £2million on midfielder Yacouba Sylla in January 2013 after he, like Fofana, had made his reputation in the second division of French football, as reported by the BBC.
However, the former Clermont Foot prodigy struggled to adapt to the demands of English football and, after just 24 appearences in Villa colours, departed the club with barely a whisper, returning to France on a permanent deal with Rennes.
It is fair to say Villa have made more than a few forgettable transfers in recent seasons and signing another relatively unknown midfielder from the French second division will only raise concerns among supporters that the club is presiding over similar mistakes.
Therefore it will be up to Fofana, if Villa beat off competition for his signature, to prove that he can succeed where Sylla failed in England.