Barcelona born youngster Mo Sylla is making a big impression at Aston Villa

The 17-year-old made his debut for the club's U23 team in 3-1 win vs. Wolves this week

He played for Granollers and Canovelles before leaving Catalonia in 2015

Mamadou Dialla Sylla, un catalán que pide paso en el Aston Villa
Mamadou Dialla Sylla, un catalán que pide paso en el Aston Villa | sport

A Barcelona-born youngster is making a big impression at Premier League side Aston Villa after leaving Spain amid little fanfare in 2015. 

Toni Juanmartí


Mamadou Diallo Sylla, 17, grew up in Granollers and played for E.C. Granollers and UE Canovelles' youth teams before leaving for England. 

Sylla joined Villa in 2018 and his performances for the U18 team this season earned him a call up to the U23 side for this week's Premier League 2 fixture against Wolverhampton Wanderers -- even though he doesn't turn 18 until January.

He can play as a central defender or a midfielder but was deployed as the latter on Monday, impressing in a 3-1 win away at Wolves. 

Former Barça striker Louie Barry, who left Camp Nou last January after seven months at the club, scored two of the goals for Villa against their local rivals. 

Sylla's parents are from Guinea but he is eligible to play for Spain having been born in Barcelona and is on La Roja's radar. 

International football at youth level has been heavily disrupted due to the coronavirus pandemic but Spain could take a closer look at him in the future by calling him for a future camp. 

Premier League side Villa have invested a lot in their first team over the summer and have won four from four in the league this season, including a 7-2 win against champions Liverpool. 

However, they also have a longer-term project which has seen them pump money into their academy at their Bodymoor Heath training centre. 

They paid over €1 million to sign Barry from Barcelona in January, while Sylla is another player they hope will progress to the first team in the coming years. 


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