French midfielder Yacouba Sylla was surprised at joining Aston Villa in January from Clermont. The 22 year old was Villa boss Paul Lambert's first signing of the transfer window after a £2million deal from French Ligue 2 side Clermont.

"When the Premier League opportunity came, I immediately said yes," Sylla said.

"I was absolutely not prepared for it. It was impossible to refuse.

"I was surprised they came and got me at Clermont."