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Aston Villa's Africa Cup of Nations connection

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Aston Villa will be represented at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations! Kind of...

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Aston Villa did not lose any current squad players to the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea. However, someone with a currently valid Aston Villa contract will be at the tournament. Midfielder Yacouba Sylla is a part of Mali's 23-man squad for the tournament. Yes, that Yacouba Sylla.

Sylla, who is on loan at Turkish club Kayceri Erciyesspor, is best known for being pretty meh in his season and a half at Villa. He's also said some things about his time at Villa which are probably fine to think to yourself, but not fine to say aloud to journalists who will write them down and then publish them for other people to read.

Sylla, who made an appearance for the French U21 team, switched allegiances to Mali after his move to Villa. Not sure what impressed Mali so much about his time at Villa, but hey. (Fun fact about his French U21 apperance: He was a late substitute for Antoine Greizmann, who is now shining at Atletico Madrid. That was a weird sentence to write.) He has made six appearances for Mali so far. He may add to that total at the AFCON, but with that squad, I doubt he'll be starting unless there's some injuries and/or suspensions.

It's not often that a Villa player has been called up to the Africa Cup of Nations. (Excluding the Moustapha Salifou era, which no one should ever forget.) Now that we (sorta) have one, I say we all get aboard the Mali bandwagon as Sylla drives them to victory. What's that? You don't want to? Okay, fine. Well there's no need to throw things.