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Yacouba Sylla plays 90 minutes in Mali draw

Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

We haven't heard or seen a lot about Yacouba Sylla since he joined Turkish side Kayseri Erciyesspor on loan in August. Despite not playing a lot at Aston Villa, the on-loan midfielder played a full match Tuesday in the Africa Cup of Nations. Starting in the middle of Mali's three-man midfield, he helped Mali get a 1-1 draw against Cameroon.

According to WhoScored, Sylla was the second best player on the pitch for Mali. Two key passes and two tackles earned him a 7.36 rating, despite completing just 72% of his passes. His other important contribution was making four interceptions.

It didn't affect his performance, or even earn him a booking, but the funny moment of the match came when Sylla hit the deck after being lightly touched in the face. 

Flop aside, it was a good match for Sylla and hopefully he can keep up the form. It's difficult to say whether or not he will be in Paul Lambert's future plans, but having played almost 1400 minutes in the Turkish top flight this season surely hasn't hurt his development.

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