Date: 18th October 2007 at 1:31pm
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There’s no more need to ask “where’s Salifou” as the ‘Togolese Zidane’ joined up with his Villa team-mates this morning.

The international midfielder has been training with his old club for some time as problems with his work permit meant he was unable to enter the United Kingdom. Now that minor issue is sorted, he is at Bodymoor Heath raring to go if his agent is to be believed.

A somewhat surprising dead-line day deal from Martin O’Neill, who had first spotted Moustapha whilst he was working for the BBC at the World Cup in 2006 (O’Neill that is, not Salifou) and since the announcement of the signing, has always been quick to ensure that we are aware that it is a “gamble.”

The Villa boss looks set to hand Salifou his Villa debut in the reserves match against Chelsea next Monday, and reckons that Togo’s version of Zinadine Zidane will be wanting to make up for the time he lost waiting for his work permit. “I’d think very, very definitely he’d be involved,” O’Neill told avfc.co.uk. “He’s arriving with no pressure on him – he’s on a year’s contract – but it is nice to see him!”

‘There’s a real hunger from him to play, certainly from the convoluted conversations I’ve had with the agent – he was really dead keen to come.’