Throughout the summer Rennes midfielder Yann M’Vila was very much hot property. A young versatile and ferocious defensive midfielder he was on many Premier League clubs wish lists.
Most notably, Arsenal were said to be in advanced talks with the 22 year old as their own defensive midfielder, Alex Song, was sold to Barcelona. A direct replacement was demanded by fans and it looked like Wenger was keen on capturing yet another young French talent and nurturing it until he would eventually sell him on to Man City or Barcelona in a couple of years (probably).
There were a couple of snags, though, Rennes knew M’Vila was in high demand and put price tag of £20 million plus on the defensive minded midfielder, an amount Arsene Wenger was very hesitant to pay.
Many questions have also been raised about M’Vila’s attitude and dedication and these issues were dramatically thrust into the spotlight last week as the French Football Federation took the decision to ban him from all national teams until June 2014 after it was revealed M’Vila treated himself to a night whilst on Under 21 duty.
That is quite a spectacular decesion from the FFF and a statement that won’t tolerate any of the insubordinance or calamity that has surrounded the French naitonal teams at the previous two international tournaments.
It appears, too, that despite all the calls for Wenger to sign a like for like replacement of Alex Song, the Frenchman exercised very good judgement by not succumbing to the temptation to splash the cash on a player who has attitude issues, something Wenger does not tolerate from any of his players.
Someone will take a risk on M’Vila, though, because a specialised defensive midfielder is something that many clubs require, a man to sit in front of the back four and protect them whilst allowing more attacking midfielders to roam free further up the field.
But if M’Vila can’t rectify what appears to be a chronic attitude problem then he will struggle to find his way out of Rennes and even the adoration of his own supporters, which would be a tremendous shame for one who has so much promise and talent.