West Ham News: According to claims from French news outlet L’Equipe, as cited by Football London, West Ham and Crystal Palace are set to go head-to-head in a transfer tug of war over French international midfielder Yann M’Vila.
The same report claims that the London giants are likely to face stiff competition from Turkish heavyweights Fenerbahce in their pursuit of the 30-year-old, with his current club Saint-Etienne likely to demand a fee in the region of €10million to part ways with their prized asset.
M’Vila, though, is not a stranger to English football by any means, having spent the 2015-16 season on loan at Sunderland in the Premier League from Russian giants Rubin Kazan.
His impressive performances for the Black Cats in the Premier League that term earned him plenty of plaudits from fans and pundits alike, although a permanent move to the north-east of England failed to materialize at that point of time due to some unknown reasons.
However, as the story goes, M’Vila is set to be offered the chance to make a sensational return to the Premier League this summer, with Palace and West Ham both keen to secure the 30-year-old’s services ahead of the upcoming campaign in a bid to sort out their midfield issues.
Born in Amiens, France, M’Vila rose through the youth ranks of Rennes and carved out a big reputation for himself as one of the best emerging defensive midfielders in his homeland before making the switch to Russia with Rubin Kazan.
However, he struggled to nail down a regular starting role at his new club and spent time on loan at Inter Milan and Sunderland before returning to his homeland with Saint-Etienne in January 2018.
M’Vila was a regular for Saint-Etienne in Ligue 1 this past season, as the French club finished 4th in the standings and secured entry into the group stages of the Europa League.
The 30-year-old, who has 22 caps for France at the senior international level, is widely acclaimed as a defensive midfielder with plenty of drive, determination, stamina, as well as incredible passing ability, creativity and ball-winning prowess, which allow him to switch easily between holding and box-to-box roles in the middle of the park.
Blessed with good game-reading ability, M’Vila is adept at breaking up the play with crucial interventions, whilst also possessing a good eye for key passes from a deep position in the midfield, thus allowing his team to turn defence into attack in the blink of an eye.
To put things into perspective, Yann M’Vila is still very much in his prime and he would definitely be a good signing for both Palace and West Ham. However, the Hammers would bag a massive coup if they manage to beat off competition from their London rivals in their pursuit of the highly-rated midfield ace.
Having already strengthened their attacking resources with big-money deals for French striker Sebastien Haller and Spanish playmaker Pablo Fornals, it is now time for the Hammers to shift their focus towards improving their defensive midfield options.
The departure of Edimilson Fernandes and Pedro Obiang to Mainz and Sassuolo respectively has left West Ham with Mark Noble, Declan Rice and Carlos Sanchez as options in deep midfield for the upcoming campaign.
While Rice and Noble complemented each other brilliantly last season, Sanchez spent large quarters on the sidelines to nurse a long-term injury and it doesn’t look like the 33-year-old Colombian is going to play a key role in the Premier League next term.
Hence, it is easy to see why an experienced head like Yann M’Vila could be a wonderful addition to the Hammers’ ranks this summer. The Frenchman’s accurate passing, composure, ball retention and ball-winning abilities in the midfield should make him a perfect partner for the young and exciting Declan Rice.
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M’Vila’s previous experience of playing in the Premier League with Sunderland, coupled with his rather modest price tag, should make him a wonderful proposition for the Hammers, who will be looking to go one step better next term and challenge for a European spot.
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