Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa: Manchester United is my dream
The 23-year-old centre-back had been linked with moves to Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Arsenal in the summer after he had captained his current team, Montpellier, to the first Ligue 1 title in their history.
However, the highly rated Yanga-Mbiwa has made it crystal clear that his career ambition is to play for the Premier League leaders, Manchester United (via DailyMail.co.uk):
My dream is to play wearing the shirt (of United) at Old Trafford. My favourite club, without a doubt, is United. In my dreams, I am sliding on my knees towards the corner at the stadium. I am scoring a decisive goal from a corner, a header. That would be alright!
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa was born in the Central African Republic, but after moving to France as a toddler, he elected to play his international football for Les Bleus and has, so far, won three caps for his adopted nation.
This will make Yanga-Mbiwa a more attractive prospect to Manchester United because it removes the possibility of the player disappearing in midseason to appear in the African Nations Cup.
With Rio Ferdinand’s Old Trafford future looking uncertain and club captain Nemanja Vidic not getting any younger at 31, Sir Alex Ferguson may well feel that his side needs strengthening with another centre-back of Yanga-Mbiwa’s quality and in his age group.
Does Manchester United need to buy a new centre-back in the coming months?
Jonny Evans just turned 25, Chris Smalling is 23 and Phil Jones is 20, so Yanga-Mbiwa would fit in nicely with a team of central defenders that could serve United for the five to 10 years.
Additionally, Sir Alex is always insistent on finding value in the market, and an interested buyer would be expected to pay Montpellier in the region of £8million for the services of Yanga-Mbiwa, according to TransferMarkt.co.uk.
This represents a promising valuation when considering that French Football Weekly made Yanga-Mbiwa a member of its 2012 Ligue 1 Team of the Year, alongside the likes of EPL players Eden Hazard and Olivier Giroud.
So Yanga-Mbiwa’s career is on the rise—he is attracting the elite clubs of Europe.
He is confident in his technical ability, and his positional awareness ensures that he closes down the opposition’s attacking threats before they fully develop. He also demonstrates good composure (even under pressure) and has speed of both mind and body.
The above factors, married with Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa's intrinsic desire to play for Manchester United, could well turn Sir Alex’s head over the coming months.
Do you think Man Utd needs to strengthen their defence? Is Yanga-Mbiwa an attractive prospect? Give me your thoughts below or hit me up on Twitter @jonathanbeever.