With the signings of Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud now complete, What Culture looks at the five players Arsenal should target in order to catch up with Premier League Champions Manchester City.
1. Yann M’Vila
The most talked about prospective signing for the Gunners this summer is undoubtedly Rennes’ captain Yann M’Vila. One of the hottest properties in world football at the moment, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich were all credited with an interest for the holding midfielder at some point during the summer so far. Arsenal are strongly believed to be interested in securing the services of M’Vila, and it looks to be a transfer saga that could drag on for a while.
M’Vila is the poster-boy for the future of French football; he has received praise from high places, with French World Cup winner Marcel Desailly declaring that he’d ‘sign him with his eyes closed’ if he were the Arsenal manager and even comparing him to Patrick Viera. M’Vila has been capped 22 times by the French national team, as well as appearing for all of France’s lower age groups starting with the U16s and even captaining the U19 team. He also captained Rennes to within a point of a Europa League spot last season, a notable achievement for a man who only celebrated his 22nd birthday yesterday.
He is a no-nonsense, classic defensive midfielder- exactly what Arsenal need at the moment- with brilliant stamina, strength and tough tackling. He is a player eerily unfazed by big occasions, always comfortable on the ball and eager to provide an outlet for his defenders. What sets him apart from Alex Song is his preference for the simple pass; whereas Song would make a tackle, then proceed to beat 3 men and place a lobbed pass onto RVP’s left foot, M’Vila would make the tackle and then play a safe pass to the Artetas and Wilsheres of the team who do the fancy stuff for him. This means that unlike Song, M’Vila very rarely gets caught up-field by an opposing counter-attack and is always present to support his defenders.
Yann M’Vila’s overall attributes cause many (including me) to believe that he is the missing puzzle piece for Arsenal’s title push, providing stability and defensive solidity which no one in the current Arsenal squad can provide. He could be deployed in a central midfield trio alongside two of Song, Wilshere, Arteta, Rosicky or Ramsey and provide cover for these attack-minded players to roam forward. M’Vila’s undoubted talent and potential mean that he would not come cheap, but Arsenal fans will be hoping that Arsene Wenger follows Desailly’s advice and signs him regardless.
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