The midfielder was signed by Paul Lambert in January 2013.

Former Aston Villa midfielder Yacouba Sylla has told the Birmingham Mail that the biggest mistake he made at the club was not realising the magnitude of his move to Villa Park.

Sylla was signed by former Villa boss Paul Lambert in January 2013 from French side Clermont as part of a drive to pluck promising talent from abroad.

In Sylla’s case, however, the move was not too successful. The now-26-year-old is a mere footnote in the club’s recent history, amassing just 22 league appearances before being allowed to return to France in 2015.

The midfielder’s career in Birmingham simply never got off the ground. In fact, the best that can be said is that his rhyming surname was the perfect material for a terrace song, although even that was more than a little tongue-in-cheek.

Now, looking back at his Villa days, Sylla admitted that he has one big regret – he wishes he had appreciated from the start just how big a move it was for his 22-year-old self in 2013.

Sylla explained, as reported by the Birmingham Mail: “At the time, we were the only club along with Manchester United that had never experienced relegation. It was a club with a great history, but back then I didn’t realise it.

“The facilities were incredible… When I first arrived at the training ground, which is massive, I saw a huge dome to warm up in and a synthetic pitch and I said to myself: ‘Where on earth am I?’

“The biggest error that I made during those two years was that I didn’t realise soon enough where I was.”

Whether or not a greater recognition of the history and size of the club would have had a positive effect on Sylla’s time at Villa is uncertain.

Signed from the French second division, the midfielder simply did not show that he had what it took to succeed in the Premier League, and his is unfortunately not a name that will live long in supporters’ memories.

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