Yacouba Sylla hit the headlines on transfer deadline day last month as he completed a £2 million move to Aston Villa from Clermont Foot.
Many criticised the deal and waited to see how Sylla would get on as he was thrown into the Premier League draw away at Everton over the weekend. The good news for Villa fans is that he did okay but there are still several ways he can improve.
Sylla looks like a kid in the park when he plays football, rivalling Lewis Holtby of Spurs in terms of energy all over the pitch. He was literally running around like a headless chicken and needs to divert some of that energy into something more constructive because he will get tired in games.
There seemed to be some communication problems when he came on which is something he needs to improve. This will only come with time and language lessons which are something Aston Villa are reportedly providing. There were a few examples against Everton where he could have saved someone else from covering or moving with a quick piece of communication.
Sylla is not a small man at six feet tall but he needs to work on his core strength and develop that as one of his main attributes. He got pushed off the ball a couple of times against Everton and may have expected a foul, which is not always going to follow in the Premier League. This will also aid other aspects of his game.
Lambert is quite right to point out that Sylla is coming from a club where the expectation levels were different. At a big established Premier League club like Aston Villa, things like taking responsibility and demanding the best from yourself and teammates are paramount and something he needs to adhere to.
How he interlinks with his teammates has to improve, which is something that will only come as his English develops. It’s very important he stays disciplined when Villa are under pressure. There were a lot of examples during the Everton match where he could have made a difference if he’d been organised alongside his teammates.
Villa fans, what did you make of his debut?
image: © ell-r-brown