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Arsenal Transfer Prospect: Yann M'Vila and His Top 10 Football Attributes

Toni Okike@@enigma106Senior Analyst IIMay 9, 2012

On his way to Arsenal?
On his way to Arsenal?Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Yann M’Vila started his career in Amiens SC and Mantes before joining the youth academy of Stade Rennais in 2004. After playing with the Reserves for a few seasons, Frederic Antonetti handed M’Vila his debut in the 2009-2010 campaign.

M’Vila has been an ever-present force in the Rennes side and he has notched up 128 appearances in just three seasons with the French outfit.

On the International scene, M’Vila has represented France in all junior levels before making his senior team debut in August 2010 in a friendly match against Norway. He hasn’t received any honors in his national team colors, but he was part of the France Under-17 side that lost in the semifinals of the 2007 Under-17 Euros to England.

Funnily enough, M’Vila was also part of the France Under-19 side that lost in the semifinals of the 2009 Under-19 Euros to England yet again. However, he has notched up 18 appearances for France and his only international goal came against Albania in a Euro 2012 qualifying match.

M’Vila hasn’t received any piece of silverware in his young career, but his splendid performances in the 2010-2011 campaign earned him a place in the 2011 Ligue 1 Team of the Year. M’Vila is held in high regard by the Rennes hierarchy, and his manager, Frederic Antonetti, has declared that M’Vila reads the game like Claude Makélélé, has the presence of Patrick Vieira and can pass the ball like Yaya Toure.

The midfield maestro is one of the most sought-after players in Europe and he has been heavily linked with Arsenal. Whispers of him securing a deal with Arsenal caused a serious stir on Twitter and the Daily Mail reported that a deal has been agreed.

M’Vila’s quality is proven and he’ll add his defensive prowess to Arsene Wenger’s team that has been lacking in that department. Arsenal currently has Alex Song as its chief holding midfielder with Francis Coquelin and Emmanuel Frimpong waiting in the ranks, while the likes of Abou Diaby, Jack Wilshere and Mikel Arteta can be deployed in that position.

Alex Song is a good defensive lynchpin but his flair for attacking has left Arsenal short at the back, especially with the likes of Thomas Vermaelen bombing forward as well. Arteta has done well to balance the midfield any time Song forays forward and his injury exposed Arsenal in the worst possible manner.

Unlike Song, M’Vila certainly knows what his primary job is and here’s my take on the top 10 footballing attributes he possesses.

Marking

This is one of the chief features a good defensive midfielder should have at his disposal and M’Vila is one of the better markers in the business. M’Vila is so good at marking that opposition attacking midfielders search for his presence long after the game is over.

When he’s really in the mood, he can frustrate any midfielder he’s coming up against.

Passing

M’Vila is primarily a holding midfielder for Rennes, but he’s also adept as a deep-lying playmaker, a role that earned Andrea Pirlo an immortal status in his AC Milan days. The maestro has a good passing range and his passes can split defenses like hot knife through butter.

Anticipation

M’Vila’s ability to read the game superbly makes him a difficult player to come up against. He’s one player who knows how to anticipate the ball with consummate ease.

However, Arsenal has its king of anticipation, the Boss himself, Laurent Koscielny.

Composure

M’Vila is very confident with the ball at his feet and he keeps a very cool head in the toughest of situations. Even if the attacker decides to turn into a raging bull and heads towards M’Vila, he’ll still be as calm and composed as ever.

Concentration

This is one attribute that has certainly being lacking in Arsene Wenger’s squad.

Times without number, Arsenal tends to switch off at vital moments of the game and they always end up getting punished. Despite the fact that fingers were rightly pointed at Song for his sloppy play, the entire team was still at fault for failing to defend well as a unit, allowing Morison to smash his effort past Wojciech Szczesny.

M’Vila’s concentration levels are very high and he knows how to keep them in check when he needs to.

Strength

M’Vila has a strong build and he uses it to his advantage of the field of play. He certainly can’t be bullied on the field of play.

Technique

M’Vila is a midfielder who is very comfortable with the ball at his feet. His close control is pretty impressive and he has a decent first touch.

Aggression

M’Vila is a midfielder who has a thing for an aggressive style of play. Irrespective of who the opposition is, he takes on all comers and is always looking to be dominant.

The Premier League has a lot of physical players, and aggression is a key attribute for any midfielder to possess in order to thrive well.

Work Rate

M’Vila has a fantastic work rate in the middle of the park and he covers huge distances on the pitch like no other. His desire to help out his teammates is a huge factor that has earned him plaudits worldwide.

Off the Ball Movement

When M’Vila is not with the ball, he’s a constant thorn in the flesh of many opposition midfielders because his off the ball movement is sleek. From throw-ins to more passes from a teammate, M’Vila is a player that can be backed upon to make himself available for a pass.

Conclusion

Yann M’Vila is a player that oozes of quality. His potential addition to Arsenal’s squad would bolster Arsene Wenger’s team with the much-needed quality that would go a long way in the team’s hunt for silverware. His arrival will also keep Alex Song on his toes, as complacency has started creeping slowly into his game.

I hope these rumors are true.

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