Yann M'Vila: Statistical Analysis of Arsenal's Rumoured Summer Signing

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentMay 31, 2012

Yann M'Vila: Statistical Analysis of Arsenal's Rumoured Summer Signing

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    Earlier in the month, Yann M'Vila’s deal to Arsenal was 99 percent done, according to French football journalist Julien Laurens.

    Though metro.co.uk’s Jamie Sanderson said Rennes will only sell M'Vila after Euro 2012.

    Best case scenario for Rennes: M'Vila makes the team of the tournament thus further inflating his transfer fee.

    On the flip side, if he does his ACL, Rennes won’t be able to sell him for upwards of £20 million this summer.

    This article will statistically analyse M'Vila’s 2011-12 Ligue 1 season for Rennes. 

5. Comparing Yann M'Vila’s Tackling to Other Prolific Ball-Winning Midfielders

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    A defensive midfielder must be a competent ball-winner because he is a liability if he isn't. How does Yann M'Vila's ball-winning prowess compare to Arturo Vidal, Jérémy Toulalan, Javi Fuego and Jermaine Jones? 

     

    League Only Tackles Per Game Interceptions Per Game Tackles Per Foul YC/RC
    Fuego  4.4 7.1 2.9 8/0
    Jones 3.4 4 1 14/0
    M'Vila 3.1 2.5 3.7 2/0
    Toulalan 5.3 5.3 4.2 5/1
    Vidal 5.4 2.2 2.6 12/1

     

    The fact that M'Vila's tackles per foul is higher than his tackles per game shows how extraordinarily efficient he is when tackling. 

     

    League Only Fouls Per Game
    Fuego  1.5
    Jones 3.4
    M'Vila 0.8
    Toulalan 1.3
    Vidal 2.1

     

    Discipline is a vital aspect of being a world-class defensive midfielder. M'Vila completed 117 tackles whilst keeping his fouls per game average to 0.8.

    Jones wins back possession 7.4 times per game, but he cannot control himself. Here's some food for thought: this season Jones had a seven-game and a four-game booking streak. 

    During the United States' 4-1 loss to Brazil, Jones hacked Neymar when there was no chance of winning the ball cleanly. It's low football IQ from Jones whereas M'Vila would have stayed on his feet and attempted to win the ball when Neymar turned. 

4. Comparing Yann M'Vila's Tackling to Ball Winning Deep-Lying Playmakers

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    Don't hold it against Yann M'Vila that his tackling statistics are inferior to players who only need to tackle. 

    M'Vila plays two roles, and naturally his defensive statistics aren't inflated. 

    Comparing him to Javi Fuego is unfair because the Spaniard only plays one role. 

    So it's only logical to compare M'Vila to Bastian Schweinsteiger, Bruno, Daniele De Rossi, Michael Carrick, Mikel Arteta, Sergio Busquets and Xabi Alonso—defensive midfielders who have to win back possession and orchestrate play. 

     

    League Only Tackles Per Game Interceptions Per Game Tackles Per Foul YC/RC
    Alonso 3 2.3 1.8 13/0
    Arteta 2.5 1.9 1.8 4/0
    Bruno
    2.8 5.6 2.5 8/0
    Busquets  2.5 2.7 2.6 9/0
    Carrick 3 2.4 4.5 4/0
    De Rossi 2.1 3.2 2.2 9/0
    M'Vila 3.1 2.5 3.7 2/0
    Schweinsteiger
    2.4 1.6 1.4 2/0

     

    This is why M'Vila is so highly rated because he's only 21, and he's already a world-class defensive midfielder. 

3. Comparing Yann M'Vila's Passing to Ball Winning Deep-Lying Playmakers

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    You're probably interested to see how Yann M'Vila's passing compares to Bastian Schweinsteiger, Bruno, Daniele De Rossi, Michael Carrick, Mikel Arteta, Sergio Busquets and Xabi Alonso. 

     

    League Only Passes Per Game Pass % Long Pass % Created Shots Assists
    Alonso 78 88.1 78.9 65 9
    Arteta 76.9 90.8 88.4 60 2
    Bruno
    69.9 87.9 80.6 31 1
    Busquets  72.6 91.5 86.4 18 1
    Carrick 73.1 90.1 82.1 31 3
    De Rossi 66.3 87.9 82.3 31 3
    M'Vila 71.8 83.2 67.7 43 2
    Schweinsteiger
    72.6 86.4 82 28 3

     

    Don't worry about M'Vila's passing percentage because it will rise into the high 80s if he joins Arsenal. 

    His long passing needs to improve because 67.7 percent is inefficient. 

2. Yann M'Vila's Fitness

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    There were only two Ligue 1 midfielders that started all 38 games: Yann M'Vila and Jaroslav Plasil. 

    M'Vila played more minutes, completed more tackles, interceptions, passes and clearances than Plasil. 

1. Final Comment

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    Yann M'Vila has no clear weaknesses as a defensive midfielder. How many seasons has he played? Just three. 

    It took Claude Makélélé eight seasons before he made it big by signing for Real Madrid

    When Patrick Vieira made his first PFA Team of the Year, he had played seven seasons of professional football. 

    M'Vila is young, is physically impressive, possesses high football IQ and undoubted pedigree.

    So it makes perfect sense for Arsenal to sign M'Vila, but do Arsenal supporters know they have an exact clone of M'Vila in their squad? His name is Francis Coquelin. 

     

    League Only Tackles Per Game Interceptions Per Game Tackles Per Foul Pass %
    M'Vila 3.1 2.5 3.7  83.2
    Coquelin 3.2 1.9 6.4  84.7

     

    Bear in mind that Coquelin played a fraction of M'Vila's minutes and played several games at full-back. 

    Coquelin needed just 10 minutes to complete every single one of his 20 passes against Wigan Athletic.

    Not only does he demand the ball, but he's an unbelievably clean tackler. 

     

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    Please read 8 Realistic Attacking Midfielders That Arsenal Should Sign

    Statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com.