Aston Villa have completed the signing of French midfielder Yacouba Sylla from Clermont Foot.
The 22-year-old had attracted interest from clubs in France, Italy and Spain, but he has chosen to test his skills in the Premier League after agreeing a three-and-a-half-year contract at Villa.
He is expected to go straight into Paul Lambert's squad for Saturday's trip to Everton, and he is relishing the challenge of playing in England.
"I'm very excited about the prospect of playing for Aston Villa and also to be playing in the Premier League," said Sylla, who has represented France at U21 level.
"I have watched some games here on TV back in France and a player such as Cheick Tiote, who is strong and forceful, I admire his style of playing.
"The manager is building a dynamic and exciting young team here and there are players also with a lot of experience. Obviously, I know plenty about Charles N'Zogbia and it will be great to play alongside him.
"I can't wait to fight for the club and help the club to climb the table. I'm thrilled to be part of this. Playing at Villa Park will be unbelievable. It is a huge stadium with a great history and the crowd will be incredible."
Villa boss Lambert added on the club's official website: "Yacouba will add a bit of steel into the midfield which will help the other lads in there.
"Even though he's still a young guy, there were a few teams interested and closely monitoring him. I think he'll do well. Physically, he's strong for it and, although he'll be new to it, he's raring to go."
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