Arsenal Transfer: Top 6 Alternatives to Yann M'Vila

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentApril 2, 2012

Arsenal Transfer: Top 6 Alternatives to Yann M'Vila

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    Arsenal target Yann M'Vila is reportedly Arsène Wenger's major summer signing. 

    I've watched quite a bit of M'Vila this season and I haven't been impressed. 

    Gilberto Silva £4.5 million
    Patrick Vieira £3.5 million
    Emmanuel Petit £2.5 million
    Alex Song £1 million
    Mathieu Flamini Free transfer

    I refuse to believe that Wenger would pay £17 million for a defensive midfielder when five of his best ever defensive midfielders cost a combined £11.5 million. 

    If Arsenal are willing to spend that much on M'Vila, it will give Lille a reason to further inflate Eden Hazard's transfer fee.  

    Here are the top six alternatives to M'Vila.

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6. Joe Allen, Swansea City, Age: 22

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    Joe Allen has clearly played better than Aaron Ramsey this season. 

    Allen is a stronger tackler, reads the game better and is more efficient in possession. 

      Allen Ramsey
    Total Tackles 81 47
    Total Interceptions 59 24
    Assists 1 4
    Shots Created 35 49
    Successful Dribbles 28 25
    Goals 3 4
    Shots Per Goal 9.67 26

    * Premier League only

5. Maxime Gonalons, Lyon, Age: 23

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    Maxime Gonalons has been a steady influence in Rémi Garde's side. 

    Gonalons averages 3.3 tackles and 3.4 interception per game this season.

    Last September in a 2-0 win over Marseille, he overpowered Lucho González and Mathieu Valbuena in midfield.  

4. Lars Bender, Bayer Leverkusen, Age: 22

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    One has to ask which Bender is better? 

    Sven has a bigger reputation because he's the cog at Borussia Dortmund

    Lars is cheaper, slightly stronger in the tackle and better going forward. 

    I loved the fact that he took over the game and was the reason why Bayer Leverkusen beat Köln 2-0.

3. Étienne Capoue, Toulouse, Age: 23

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    Étienne Capoue has impressed me more than Yann M'Vila this season, but I wouldn't say Capoue is worth £15 million+. 

    So that means M'Vila isn't worth whatever ludicrous amount Rennes think they can get. 

    Capoue is a high-energy player whose only weakness is his passing. He does tend to give away possession trying to make plays that are out of his passing range. 

    If he does sign for Arsenal, he needs to complete 90 percent of his passes.

    He has only completed 74.9 percent of his passes this season. 

2. Javi Martínez, Athletic Bilbao, Age: 23

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    Javi Martínez has showed how versatile he is by transitioning into the heart of defence. 

    There's no doubt in my mind that he's better than Thomas Vermaelen right now.  

    Martínez has been a ball-hawk this season, accumulating 151 interceptions and 86 tackles in 26 games. 

    One slight concern is that he hasn't performed as well as I'd expect against the big two.

    He struggled in a 4-1 loss to Real Madrid and conceded a penalty in the recent loss to Barcelona. 

    For me, Martínez is a good centre-back but he's a world -class midfielder. 

    If Arsenal want to spend £20 million on a defensive midfielder, Martínez is their man. 

1. Francis Coquelin, Arsenal, Age: 20

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    Arsène Wenger played the mediocre Denílson 153 times, so you'd think that Francis Coquelin will be given an extended run at Arsenal. 

    I see greatness in Coquelin because he has all the attributes of a world-class midfielder: excellent tackler, high football IQ, good attitude, solid short and long range passing ability.

    I don't know if he's ever played at right-back but he didn't sulk and played his heart out. 

    My fear for Coquelin is that he'll be pigeonholed as a utility player. 

    He will be a world-class defensive midfielder if he plays full-time in that position. 

    I know it's a small sample size but it's incredible that he's won back possession 42 times in just 486 minutes of Premier League play. 

    To give you a comparison, Johan "Useless" Djourou has won back possession 34 times in 16 games. 

    I want to see a midfield trio of Coquelin, Alex Song and Jack Wilshere. That would mean a change in formation from 4-2-3-1 to a 4-3-3. 

    Please read 5 Reasons Why Carroll Is to Blame for Defeat to Newcastle

    Statistics courtesy of and Transfer Markt.  

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