Offensive: Participates in the game, overlaps with good timing, good array of choices.
Defensive: With a physique poorly suited for challenges, he prefers to face opponents one-on-one or to anticipate them, which also remedies his lack of positioning.
Cergy-Pontoise is one of the agglomeration communities created around Paris in the 1960s, as well as the name of the École de Football where Yarouba Cissako entered the football business. Cergy-Pontoise’s project, developed at the dawn of the 21st century, was an ambitious one which involved the nearby Clos Levallois and some of the major sides from Ligue 1, offering its own club as training centre. The proposal attracted AS Monaco, who signed a biennial relationship that included the chance of summer internships in Le Rocher. The day the two parties completed the deal, during a break, some Monegasque executives watched an U13 match and were impressed by a boy with shaved head and a 10 on his back—he would be the first to test the new agreement. Cissako’s technique and intelligence were to be protected. In an attempt not to put too much pressure on the youngster, the teams found an intermediate solution: he would train at the National Technique Centre Fernand Sastre, known as INF Clairefontaine, one of the best training facilities in the country (where Thierry Henry, William Gallas, Nicolas Anelka, Hatem Ben Arfa and Medhi Benatia started their careers), and play for AS St-Ouen-l’Aumône over the weekends. At the age of 15, the moment to become a Rouge et Blanc had come, the best solution in order to ward off competition from the likes of Tolosa and Anderlecht. The latter would be his opponents in 2014, when he joined Belgian side Zulte Waregem on loan after four seasons spent playing for Monaco U19 (he won the title in 2013) and the reserve team, also earning a call-up for France U17, featuring in the European Championship. “Obviously, I aim to play at a higher level, for Anderlecht, Club Brugge or Standard Liège,” said Cissako as soon as he moved to the Zulte Waregem. Not a clever way to introduce himself to his new fans, although one that showed his ambition. However, his spell in Belgium would prove fruitful (seven assists from 30 games), before an injury knocked him out of the game in the crucial part of the season. His return to Monaco in summer 2015 was overshadowed by his decision to refuse a contract extension and leave the club to move to Qatar for religious reasons just few months later, despite interest from Newcastle, Everton, Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund.
Cheerful, humble, keen to listen to advises from experienced coaches and teammates.
Right back, winger
Pro and cons
Up: Quick, control of the ball, cross, team play
Down: Defensive reading, weak feet, consistency