Yacouba Sylla: Aston Villa sign Clermont Foot midfielder

Aston Villa have confirmed the signing of Clermont Foot defensive midfielder Yacouba Sylla for around £2m.

The 22-year-old is boss Paul Lambert's first signing of the transfer window.

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Physically, he's strong for it and, although he'll be new to it, he's raring to go

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert

Sylla, who has agreed a three-and-a-half-year contract,   is eligible for Saturday's trip to Everton subject to international clearance.

"I can't wait to fight for the club and help the club to climb the table. I will be very proud when I put on the shirt and play my first game," he said.

"My first task will be to integrate myself with my new team-mates and to help those around me to grow and to build with them a strong team. I'm thrilled to be part of this."

QPR, Fulham, Stuttgart and Udinese were all interested in signing the France Under-21 international, who made 20 starts for the French second division side this season.

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert feels Sylla's physicality makes him an ideal recruit as the club attempts to climb out of the Premier League bottom three.

"Yacouba will add a bit of steel into the midfield which will help the other lads in there," Lambert said.

"Even though he's still a young guy, there were a few teams interested and closely monitoring him.

"I think he'll do well. Hopefully, he adapts quickly and gives us something to complement the guys around him.

"Physically, he's strong for it and, although he'll be new to it, he's raring to go."

Defeat by Newcastle on Tuesday saw the West Midlands side drop into the Premier League's relegation places.

It was their fourth successive home defeat and followed recent losses to lower-league opposition in the FA Cup and League Cup.