Yann M'Vila: Next Makelele's Botched Inter Milan Spell Latest Sad Chapter

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentJanuary 26, 2015

FLORENCE, ITALY - OCTOBER 05:  Yann M'Vila of Inter in action during the Serie A match between ACF Fiorentina and FC Internazionale Milano at Stadio Artemio Franchi on October 5, 2014 in Florence, Italy.  (Photo by Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images)
Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images

Once ordained as Claude Makelele's successor, Rubin Kazan's French defensive midfielder Yann M'Vila, 24, continues his decline. 

Failing to make a positive impression on loan at Inter Milan is the latest sad chapter of the M'Vila soap opera.

"[Inter Milan] has big plans. They want to get back to the top and that's exactly where I want to be," M'Vila said, per Inter.it. "I'm going to give everything I've got for Inter Milan."

Talk is cheap.

M'Vila says the right things, but actions speak louder than words.

His ability is unquestioned. 

At one point, he was the top French prospect 20 years old or younger, according to Ben Lyttleton at Sports Illustrated

In 2011, then-Rennes manager Frederic Antonetti spoke of M'Vila as French football's future.

"Yann is a combination of the great defensive midfielders," Antonetti said, per Le Parisien (h/t FIFA.com). "He reads the game like Claude Makelele, has the presence of Patrick Vieira and can pass the ball like Yaya Toure."

While M'Vila was seemingly destined for greatness, Paul Pogba—an unproven headstrong French talent—had the intrepidness to use his expiring contract as leverage against then-Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

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M'Vila and Pogba typify how three to four years is a new generation in football.

To succeed in the Italian Serie A or any other elite European league, you need to be a world-class talent, who is in optimal physical and mental shape. 

Pogba ticks in all three categories. 

M'Vila falls way short physically and mentally. 

Salary Per Year
Paul Pogba (Juventus)Yann M'Vila (Inter Milan)
Credit: La Gazzetta dello Sport.

There is about a €300,000/£230,000 difference in the salaries of Pogba and M'Vila, per Carlo Laudisa at La Gazzetta dello Sport, yet the gap in current playing ability is astronomical.

Pogba will routinely contend for the FIFA Ballon d'Or in years to come, whereas M'Vila needs to critically examine the direction of his career.

M'Vila is being paid six to seven figures a year as a professional sportsman, yet calling him an athlete is the equivalent of saying Milli Vanilli were real singers. 

No one expects M'Vila to have the endurance levels of Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad or to run as fast as Christophe Lemaitre.

But M'Vila's physical capabilities have alarmingly declined as much as Fernando Torres' first-step.

LeagueTackles Per 90 MinsTackles Per GameTackle Success %
2014-15; Inter Milan2.60.970
2013-14; Rubin Kazan1.61.570.7
2012-13; Rennes2.11.568.6
2011-12; Rennes3.13.180.1
Credit: WhoScored.com.

In three seasons, M'Vila's tackles per game has decreased by 2.2, his tackles per 90 minutes by 0.5 and his tackle success percentage by 10.1.

During the 2011-12 season, M'Vila was in peak physical condition, starting all 38 Ligue 1 games and averaging 89.5 minutes for Rennes.

This season for Inter Milan, M'Vila averages 30.9 minutes per game in the Serie A. 

Credit: instagram.com/yannmvilaofficiel/.

Then-Inter Milan manager Walter Mazzarri gave a Brendan Rodgers-like backhanded compliment when commenting on M'Vila.

"M'Vila came on well in the second half," Mazzarri said, per Football Italia. "His fitness levels need to improve, but he was better than expected."

Better than expected? What is that supposed to mean? Was Mazzarri anticipating M'Vila to gas out after 15 minutes?

If so, talk about setting the bar low. The context being Mazzarri was against Inter Milan signing M'Vila, according to Rai journalist Ciro Venerato, per Radio Crc (h/t Football Italia).

When M'Vila was a starter, he was impactless, as revealed by a tweet via OptaJean.

OptaJean @OptaJean

3 - Yann M'Vila started three league games with Inter Milan this season, failing to win any of them. Barren.

M'Vila was not prepared at Inter Milan as he self-sabotaged himself at Rubin Kazan.

As the expression goes: Old habits die hard.

He is a €12/£9 million flop, who forced his way out of Russia, according to Rubin Kazan manager Rinat Bilyaletdinov.

"M'Vila behaved badly. One day he trained, one day he didn't," Bilyaletdinov said, per France Football (h/t ESPN). "He thought he was already in Liverpool. I told him: 'It is not your level. If you go, you will be on the bench.'"

Bilyaletdinov should have replaced Liverpool with Inter Milan. 

Under Mazzarri, M'Vila started and finished on the bench in three of his first seven Serie A games.

Then M'Vila's knee buckled

He is out of shape which has adversely affected his confidence, his mobility and his ball-winning prowess.

Roberto Mancini @robymancio

Pronti per #PsgInter... Grazie a tutti i tifosi per la calorosa accoglienza ricevuta a #Marrakech! http://t.co/GAIOWUJqn8

Succeeding Mazzarri, Inter Milan re-hired Roberto Mancini, a confrontational, firebrand, "do it my way or else" manager.

M'Vila Laurent Blanc'ing Mancini in a 4-2 defeat to Roma were the actions of a defeatist.

By trying to humiliate Mancini, M'Vila dared to question the new Inter Milan manager's authority.

"M'Vila will never again repeat a scene like that," Mancini said, per Football Italia. "It was the last time."

To borrow a phrase from the droll Tancredi Palmeri: BOOM!

Despite still appearing in the team photo, Inter Milan have removed M'Vila from their updated squad list.

Inter @Inter_en

Marcelo #Brozovic has landed in Milan! #FCIM http://t.co/ammGq2zEWG

Out: M'Vila (Rubin Kazan)In: Marcelo Brozovic (Dinamo Zagreb), per France Football and Sky Sport (h/t Calciomercato.com).

According to a tweet via Sky Sport journalist Fabrizio Romano, Brozovic will initially sign on an 18-month loan with the option to extend into a permanent deal.

Brozovic: upgrading; M'Vila: downgrading.

M'Vila is now open to playing for Swansea City or Queens Park Rangers in the English Premier League, per Matt Law at The Telegraph.

So much for being the next Makelele.


When not specified, statistics via WhoScored.com. 


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