French defensive midfielder Yann M’Vila could be on the move again this summer after being heavily linked with a move to the Premier League in recent transfer windows.
The 23-year-old France international was the player most linked with a move to join Arsenal in 2011/12 and became something of a controversial figure for both club and country before leaving Rennes.
Regarded of one of France’s brightest young prospects as a teenager, he seemed destined to join the Gunners with manager Arsene Wenger’s track record of developing and nurturing talent from his homeland at the Emirates.
However, the North Londoners’ boss seemed to lose interest following M’Vila’s untimely indiscipline both on and off the pitch in his last year in France before moving to Rubin Kazan last winter.
M’Vila was called up to the France senior squad in 2010 at the age of 20 and made 10 appearances for his country in 2010/11 whilst still in Ligue 1 but has not made an appearance for his country since being banned from national team matches in November 2012 for an ‘unauthorized night out’ whilst he was supposed to be on U21 duty. His ban will be lifted this June but he will likely find it difficult to force his way into the World Cup squad set for Brazil.
He has made 17 appearances in the Russian Premier Liga this term as well as 9 in the Europa League but according to reports this week he could be told he can leave Rubin Kazan this summer, after only arriving in January of 2013. He is also linked with Liverpool, Tottenham and Everton but could Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger be convinced to take another look at the midfielder?
In his full last season in Ligue 1 he made no less than 50 appearances for Rennes in all competitions and made three appearances for France in the European Championships the summer prior to his move – he garnered a reputation as a physical yet technically gifted defensive midfielder akin to a young Patrick Vieira but his stock plummeted following his international ban.
Arsenal have since re-signed his elder compatriot Mathieu Flamini to alternate with Mikel Arteta in that role in the Gunners’ midfield but the duo are now 30 and 31 years of age respectively and entering the twilight years of their career – could M’Vila be the ideal man to take over that role for the Gunners in the future?
Wenger, despite his grandfatherly demeanor, is a real stickler for discipline but he has overlooked indiscipline from players in the past provided they possess the necessary quality to override their immaturity. Vieira himself would be an apt example of that during his time in North London and Olivier Giroud could be a more recent example with his off-field escapades.
Given that M’Vila has matured in the past couple of years whilst in Russia and likely looking to earn back the respect and favour of the national team boss Laurent Blanc in the future, Arsenal could be the ideal habitat for him to continue his development and prove himself – there is no doubt over his talent and I think Arsene Wenger would be the ideal guardian to supervise his return to form and favour.