Arsenal have once again been linked with Montpellier stalwart Mapou Yanga M’Biwa and you can see why. The defender is versatile; capable of playing across the back-four and if needed pushing up into the defensive midfield. While he is a strong and agile defender he can also showcase brilliant technical ability with great passing attributes and a wonderful touch and turn of pace. A good comparison I saw on Twitter the other day was to a young Sol Campbell; and we know how good he was.
Previously he has stated his desire to remain loyal to current club Montpellier as they fight on the continent and to retain their Ligue 1 title. AC Milan were also in hot pursuit, even having a bid reportedly accepted, but M’Biwa was adamant on giving it a go with Montpellier for now:
‘’Is my future in the Premier League? Now my head is exclusively focussed in Montpellier. I am happy in this club but I am young and it is never impossible to reject a progression in this sport.”
Since he uttered those words however Montpellier have crashed out of Europe altogether after finishing bottom of Arsenal’s group and sit 13th in Ligue 1; a monumental 14 points off Lyon in top spot.
With his season objections seemingly decimated before the New Year transfer speculation was always likely to arise in the wake of his club teams failures.
In the past however it has seemed that AC Milan had the edge over Arsenal when it came to attracting M’Biwa into a move from the French champions.
On the contrary it could be that Arsenal, on closer inspection, have the edge. Firstly they have already successfully negotiated with the club in the past few months. They signed last season’s top-goalscorer Olivier Giroud from the French outfit in the summer and given Arsene Wenger’s continued use of the French market it would appear he has the edge in that respect.
The other thing Arsenal certainly have is bargaining power. A centre-back is fast becoming a priority as the likes of Johan Djourou and Sebastian Squillaci get ready to depart The Emirates. It is the latter who could provide the most leverage as they could throw a Squillaci shaped sweetener into the deal. Montpellier would be tempted to bring in a player capped over 20 times by Les Bleus as cover for their departing centre back and Arsenal would be happy to see the back of the flop.
Throwing him into a cash-deal could give them the edge over any competition for the much coveted talents of Mapou Yanga M’Biwa.
Would you sacrifice Squillaci if it helped bring in Yanga M’Biwa?
image: © yvelines