In the last few weeks of the transfer window Yann M'Vila was linked to several Premier League clubs. Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City were all reported as interested despite the player having a growing reputation for poor off the field behaviour. Having not made the move M'Vila's reputation has fallen further in the subsequent months, and now looks unlikely to leave Rennes soon, as the club would be unwilling to sell him for the lower price his antics have created.
The international break just passed brought renewed criticism to M'Vila from the French press. He was dropped from the senior side down to the under 21s, and was then spotted out partying a couple of days before they lost 5-3 to Norway's U21 side. The loss meant that France fail to qualify for the U21 European Championships in 2013 despite the array of talented players they have in their squad.
Obviously M'Vila's poor performance was not the sole reason they didn't qualify, but with his past indiscretions he is rapidly becoming one of the most frustrating figures in European football. He has the talent to become one of the best defensive midfielders in the world, and to appear to be squandering it before he even makes a move to big club is ridiculous.
M'Vila now has become a significant risk for any team who wants to purchase him, especially for Spurs and Arsenal, who may consider to temptations of London's nightlife too much for the youngster. Fans of both North London clubs who were dismayed that M’Vila wasn’t purchased in the summer now may consider themselves lucky to have dodged a bullet.
The good news for fans of M'Vila is that he still only 22. If he can settle down and get back into form at Rennes, and leave his partying days behind him, he still has plenty of time to reach his potential. If he can show signs of curbing his behaviour then a move to big club should still happen in the next couple of years. How he responds to that challenge could well either make or break him as a player.
image: © Mypouss