Iddrisa Gueye

Iddrisa Gueye

Idrissa Gueye could ? no make that SHOULD ? become Aston Villa?s best African player.

Gueye is in the process of finalising his switch from Lille to Villa Park, subject to the red tape and the finer details going through without a hitch early next week.

The Senegal international midfielder offers plenty of promise as Tim Sherwood strives to stamp his mark on the claret and blues this summer.

And given Villa?s lack of success with African players in the past, the bar is set quite low on what he must achieve to fly the flag for his continent in B6.

Below are nine African internationals who have generally flattered to deceive at Villa? HABIB BEYE (SENEGAL)

?Sunday, Monday ? Habib Beye, Tuesday, Wednesday ? Habib Beye, Thursday, Friday ? Habib Beye???

Other than a wonderful terrace chant to the tune of Happy Days, Habib Beye offered Villa very little.

In fact, the Senegalese defender ? a compatriot of Gueye ? spent most of his time picking up big money on the sidelines.

His most memorable contributions on the field were during below par home and away struggles against Rapid Vienna in Europe.

ERIC DJEMBA DJEMBA (CAMEROON)

So bad they named him twice. He never made it at Manchester United and the Cameroon international was no better when David O?Leary brought him to Villa in January 2005.

He made just four Premier League starts and seven substitute appearances for Villa and, infamously, ran up quite a bill at the club shop for merchandise he sent home to his family. After a spell in Scotland, his last known whereabouts were in the Indonesia Super League.

KARIM EL AHMADI (MOROCCO)

Paul Lambert?s first signing sadly ended up epitomising the manager?s reign.

He just wasn?t good enough. Not the worst player ever to wear the famous claret and blue but nowhere near the best.

Steady, but unspectacular and unexciting. He returned from whence he came ? Dutch club Feyenoord ? having failed to live up to his intention of being a midfield ?guvnor? in the Premier League.

A style guru in Holland, the most he could fashion for Villa was top flight goals against Manchester City and Albion.

MUSTAPHA HADJI (MOROCCO)

Mustapha Hadji was one of those players who did much better at the club with which he was relegated ? in this case Coventry ? before joining Villa.

He never really got going after signing for John Gregory in 2001 and three goals in 31 starts and 17 substitute appearances accurately summed up his limited impact at Villa. While Coventry fans took to wearing fezzes to celebrate his sparkling play, Villa supporters never really had cause to take their hats off to the Moroccan. HASSAN KACHLOUL (MOROCCO)

Hassan Kachloul was very similar to fellow countryman Hadji in that his exciting performances were few and far between for Villa. After shining at Southampton he failed to consistently hit the same heights as another John Gregory signing. He was frozen out by Graham Taylor and David O?Leary and departed Villa in 2004 after two goals in 32 first team appearances. He now works as a property developer, apparently.

NII LAMPTEY  (GHANA)

He could score against Wigan, he did a nifty line in acrobatic celebrations and my mate had his name on his shirt.

But other than that there wasn?t a great deal to commend Lamptey?s brief spell at Villa.

Signed on loan from Anderlecht, the Ghanaian winger hit three goals in two League Cup games against the Latics. It was the sum total of his goal output as Lamptey only made three starts and six substitute appearances in his solitary season in B6.

MOUSTAPHA SALIFOU

Affectionately known as the Togolese Zidane, enjoyed cult status with the Villa fans who serenaded him with their version of ?Daddy Cool?.

He was a strange signing when Martin O?Neill snapped him up from FC Wil on deadline day in August 2007 and it was still difficult to fathom when he departed for FC Saarbrucken after four Premier League substitute appearances and a handful of cup games two years later. JEAN MAKOUN (CAMEROON)

The Villa Park faithful hoped he would be a diamond geezer when he arrived sporting THAT jumper in January 2011. Sadly he did not look quite as good on the field. There were glimpses, but a sending off at Blackpool was the beginning of the end before family issues and work permit problems finished off the Cameroon international?s claret and blue career before it had got started.

He came to Villa having played in the Champions League for Lyon. He has since returned to France, most recently turning out for Rennes. YACOUBA SYLLA (MALI)

Rennes is also the French club where Yacouba Sylla has ended up. Signed on the cheap by Paul Lambert in January 2013 from Clermont Foot, it would be harsh to say he was more ?club foot.

But despite garnering a Salifou-style appreciation society with his ?Sylla, Sylla, Sylla, he loves the beeping Villa, Villa, Villa? chant, the Premier League was a step too far. After being loaned out he has now returned to France on a permanent basis. AND FINALLY?

Then there were Zambian Emment Kapengwe and Freddie Mwilla who played just a handful of times between them in the late 1960s. Redressing the balance a little bit is George Boateng, who hails from Ghana, but played for Holland, while we would appreciate guidance on how good South Africa-born Gordon Hodgson, who played in the 1930s, was.

Either way the path is clear for Idrissa Gueye to become Aston Villa?s greatest ever African player. Who is Idrissa Gueye? Here?s the lowdown

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