Scouting Report: Bayern Munich Replacing Diego Contento with Issiaga Sylla?

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentMay 26, 2014

Iran's national soccer team player Ashkan Dejagah, left, runs with the ball as he is followed by Guinea's Issiaga Sylla in their friendly match at the Azadi (Freedom) stadium in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, March 5, 2014. Guinea won the match 2-1. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
Ebrahim Noroozi/Associated Press

If Diego Contento—Bayern Munich's backup left-back to David Alaba—leaves in the summer transfer window, should Bayern consider signing Toulouse left wing-back Issiaga Sylla?

To cover that hypothetical, here is a scouting report on the 20-year-old Guinean international.



Sylla is a 5'11", 165-pound player predominantly deployed as a left wing-back in a 3-5-2 formation.


Sylla is adventurous, lively and makes crafty runs in behind opposing defences, like evading the attention of Ajaccio right-back Cedric Hengbart to put away Toulouse right wing-back Serge Aurier's cross.


Sylla made a similar run to blind-side right-back Francois Clerc and latch on to Aurier's low cross against Saint-Etienne.


Sochaux right attacking midfielder Cedric Bakambu was outraced to a loose ball by Sylla, who volleyed it past goalkeeper Simon Pouplin.


Sylla has a natural shooting motion, great technique and is balanced upon making contact with the ball.


This is why his shooting accuracy (58 percent, per is substantially higher than Alaba's (17 percent, per


While Sylla is still developing his crosses, he gave you a glimpse of elite crossing potential.

He sent in a cross with dip, swerve and precision, which Toulouse centre-forward Wissam Ben Yedder headed past Nice goalkeeper David Ospina for a goal.


Sylla relishes going forward, but he is a diligent defender.

He averaged more tackles and interceptions per game than any Bayern full-back. 

 Tackles Per GameFouls Per GameTackles Per FoulInterceptions Per Game
David Alaba1.
Diego Contento [1]
Issiaga Sylla2.
Mitchell Weiser0.70.71.0-
Philipp Lahm [2]
Ylli Sallahi---1.0

[1] also played at centre-back.

[2] also used in a Xavi-like midfield role. 


Sylla won back possession 138 times and had two big defensive games.

He intercepted nine passes against Lille, per, and completed all six of his attempted tackles against Marseille, per



Sylla's application to defending was evident when he made a last-ditch block to deny Monaco centre-forward Radamel Falcao from scoring.


These are all encouraging signs that Sylla can transition from a left wing-back to a left-back, a position that requires more defensive solidarity.



Sylla is raw, lacks experience and has only played one full season of Ligue 1 football.

Throughout the campaign, he displayed naivety.

He overcompensated with a rushed two-footed tackle on Reims right-back Aissa Mandi and conceded a penalty.


Sylla charged at Paris Saint-Germain centre-forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic's free-kick with a flailing arm and gave away a soft penalty for handling the ball.


Sylla was out of position and then slipped when the ball was played to Rennes left-forward Romain Alessandrini, giving up a free shot on goal.


Sylla's cross completion percentage may be above the acceptable 25 percent line, but it is not up to Bayern standards.

 Cross Completion %Crosses Per Game
David Alaba41.31.2
Issiaga Sylla27.70.9
Philipp Lahm44.40.6

Sylla needs to be more efficient than miscuing six of eight crosses, as was the case against Ajaccio, per


Bayern's average pass completion percentage is 88.2, whereas Sylla's is 77.9, so he needs to refine his passing accuracy.


Bottom Line


Is Contento content with being a backup?

If not, Bayern management need to determine if Sallahi is Bundesliga quality.

Should the answer be no, Sylla should be considered as a transfer target as he has qualities similar to Wolfsburg left-back Ricardo Rodriguez. 

Signing Sylla to compete with Alaba would be a shrewd investment.



Statistics via