M'Vila is one of the most sought after players in Europe right now, and Arsenal are lucky enough to be in the driving seat for his transfer, with the latest odds saying he is 1/11 on to join Arsenal this summer. Here is everything you need to know about the 21 year old.
Yann has been outstanding since he broke into the Rennes first team in the 09/10 season. He quickly established himself as one of the leagues brightest talents, becoming an ever present in the team.
M'Vila first made a name for himself in the Rennes youth team, after being scouted playing for Paris based FC Mantes. He quickly established himself in the youth team side, alongside somewhat of a golden generation for the side in Damien Le Tallec, Yohann Lasimant, Abdoul Camara, and Yacine Brahimi. With M'Vila leading the midfield, the academy won the 2008 Coupe Gambardella, the equivalent to the French Youth Cup.
The excellent displays in the academy and reserve team at Rennes earned M'Vila - originally of Congolese descent - a call up to the French u-16 side and he went on to feature in every age group, captaining the under 18's at one stage.
M'vila suffered criticism from his manager at Rennes, Guy Lacombe, as he was developing and was not given a chance in the first team squad until the arrival of Frederic Antonetti as manager in 2009. After breaking into the side, M'Vila was virtually an ever present for the rest of the season.
Unfortunately for the young midfielder, he missed out on the 2010 French World Cup squad, but he has been an essential part of the team since its collapse in that tournament. He made his debut shortly afterwards in the game against Norway, and under the new manager, Laurent Blanc, he has become an ever present in the new-look French national team.
As the 21 year old developed his talent in the national side, he also continued his excellent club form in the 2010/11 season, making the most attempted and completed passes out of any midfielder in the division. It was clear now that he was not just a talentless anchoring midfielder, but an exceptional passer of the ball and capable of succeeding at the very highest level. This has earned him very appreciated comparisons with former French internationals, Claude Makélélé and Patrick Vieira. In fact, Marcel Desailly described the midfielder as having the talent to be "better than Patrick Vieira" in an interview earlier this year. High praise indeed for a player yet to make a major impression on the world stage, but that just shows what a talent Yann is.
The towering 6ft midfielder's fine performances earned Stade Rennais an appearance in the Europa League last season, and Yann made his debut in the competition. He also captained the side for the first time against Nancy on 15th September 2011, highlighting that despite being young, he has acquired leadership skills. M'Vila secured Stade Rennais a 6th place finish in Ligue Un this year. In his 38 appearances he created 2 goals, whilst he also made 111 tackles - the fourth highest in the league - and 91 interceptions this term which highlights the solidity he brings to the side.
After making his debut in August 2010, M'Vila now has 18 caps to his name and has scored one goal for his country against Albania. Perhaps his greatest international performance was against Luxembourg, where he completed 92.5% of his 134 passes, the best rate for any French player since 2006. He has already been named in the squad by Blanc, and is surely destined to start for the French side in Euro 2012.
He would be a perfect signing for Arsenal in helping to solidify the defence. Yann has a great work rate and is a well-timed tackler, which has meant he is a very disciplined player. He is also very mature for a player of his age. Whilst his positioning is sometimes suspect for a holding midfielder, he has definitely stopped trying to be the attacking play-maker for his side, and is now more of a deep-lying player, composing the attacks and dictating the tempo. His role could develop into something similar to Claude Makélélé, as well as Pep Guardiola's role at Barcelona.
Criticism has existed over M'Vila having a bad attitude, and he recently spent a night in jail after allegedly punching a teenager on a night out. However, he is also seen as a very calm and relaxed person who spends most of his time with his wife and 2 children.
Having being scouted by Madrid, Munich and Man Utd, the 21 year old is well reagarded accross Eurpoe and is recognised as one of the greatest midfield talents in the world. Another quote from the Rennes manager is that he "reads the game like Makélélé, has the presence of Vieira and can pass the ball like Yaya Toure." If he can become as good as any of those players, he will have had an exceptional career, but he has the chance to eclipse them according to Marcel Desailly who declared that "you will see he is the best midfielder", He also stated that any ambitious side should break the bank for his signature.
Talks are rumoured to have started between Arsenal and Stade Rennais over M'Vila's transfer, with some stating that a deal has already being agreed. M'Vila is certainly poised to leave Rennes this summer, and has spoken of a desire to play in the Premier League before. Just this weekend his international teammate Bacary Sagna gave his views on a possible transfer to the Gunners saying "M'Vila can make a great impact. I'm not sure about his English but it took me time to learn. But I think he would suit us as well. Arsenal is a French-speaking team and it will help him settle."
Hopefully a deal can be agreed soon, although it seems any transfer is unlikely to happen until after the European Championships now.