Why Southampton should make a January swoop for Yann M’Vila
After arriving at AS Saint-Etienne from Russian side Rubin Kazan earlier in January, Yann M’Vila has quickly gained importance within the club.
But before his move to Saint-Etienne, the Frenchman’s career had derailed, and he was forced to try his luck in Russia with Kazan, where he joined Sunderland on a season-long loan during the 2015/16 campaign. Thankfully, a move back to France has helped Yann M’Vila get back his career on track.
He is operating at his best at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, having played 16 games this season. Looking at Yann M’Vila’s form, Southampton must make a move for the midfielder in January.
Ralph Hasenhuttl has wasted very little time in laying down his ethos at Southampton. A 1-0 defeat to Cardiff City last weekend, three days after Hasenhuttl replaced Mark Hughes, Southampton made it 12 Premier League matches in a row without a win.
The manager has only been in charge for one match and although it ended up in a defeat, Hasenhuttl remains determined to get the Saints out of trouble. And a productive January window could be key to the Saints’ survival hopes.
Southampton have been poor in every department so far this season. Ideally, a new manager should start solving the problem from the base of a building, meaning Hasenhuttl should prioritise adding a defender to his ranks. A striker would also be important given that the likes of Charlie Austin, Shane Long, Manolo Gabbiadini and Danny Ings have underwhelmed.
But to say a midfielder won’t be required for the Saints will be wrong as it’s the most essential part of a team that acts as the glue between the defence and the attack. That said, signing Yann M’Vila would make utmost sense for Southampton.
Hasenhuttl requires an enforcer in the engine room to keep his fluid, attacking style of play intact. Oriol Romeu could do that job but M’Vila would be an upgraded, experienced and composed player at the heart of the Saints midfield.
M’Vila would bring physicality and power to Southampton’s midfield and would also provide the thrust and creativity that Southampton appear to be lacking in central midfield. The 22-cap French international would be the ideal man to partner the likes of Mario Lemina and Stuart Armstrong in a midfield trio.
A good dribbler and passer, the 28-year-old could make the difference in the middle of the park for Southampton in tight games.
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For the high-pressing, fast-paced attacking style favoured by Ralph Hasenhuttl, M’Vila would be a perfect fit. Hence, Southampton must go all out to sign M’Vila in January. But it remains to be seen whether Saint-Etienne will sell him in January 2019 after signing him at the start of this year.