Sunderland hoping Yann can become ‘the man’ again on Wearside

Sunderland fans will be hoping a player once heavily linked to the likes of Real Madrid and Liverpool can rediscover his mojo at the Stadium of Light having endured something of a career nosedive in recent seasons.

You don’t earn 22 caps for France without being a very talented footballer, but question marks over his attitude and commitment to football have trailed Yann M’Vila in the not-too distant past.

Still only 25 however, the man who arrives from Russian Premier League outfit Rubin Kazan on a season-long loan could yet prove to be an inspired signing for Dick Advocaat.

Having drawn comparisons to greats such as Claude Makelele and Patrick Vieira early in his career at Rennes, M’Vila’s rise through France’s youth teams appeared to put the defensive midfielder on course for stardom.

Blooded in the Rennes first team at 19, M’Vila’s ability to break up play and then retain the ball was notable right from the outset.

Indeed over the course of the 2009/10 and 2010/11 campaigns the Amiens native topped the Ligue 1 charts in the amount of completed passes.

It was his decision to then swerve some of the continent’s big names in favour of the riches offered by Russian side Rubin which was the beginning of a troubled period for the midfield enforcer.

A season-long loan to Serie A club Inter last year proved not to be the revitalising experience he’d hoped and in fact the deal was terminated in January.

M’Vila clearly has the physical attributes to succeed in England if he can knuckle down and put the hard work in, he could well become a success story.

If Advocaat can extract the best out of him once more, then the Black Cats’ current odds of 2/5 to stay up will look too long come the end of the campaign.

Watch this space.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.