UK newspaper The Independent reports that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger could rekindle his interest in Yann M'Vila during the January transfer window.
The Rennes star has been a long-term Gunners target. He is a solid and savvy defensive midfielder whose talent is highly regarded. It even prompted Marcel Desailly to claim M'Vila could emulate ex-Gunners great Patrick Vieira.
However, M'Vila's career has also been blighted by several off-field troubles. He recently received a ban from the French national squad after breaking team rules during European Under-21 duty.
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He has also fallen out of favour at club level. M'Vila's antics have seen him relegated to the bench for Rennes. However, when at his best, the 22-year-old can anchor a midfield with a combination of strength, positional discipline and intelligent distribution.
Those attributes could prove invaluable for an Arsenal team crippled by inconsistency. Part of the problem is the lack of a coherent shape to the team's formation. The root of the issue is in midfield.
Skilful trio Mike Arteta, Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere are all too similar. The Gunners need a natural pivot to underpin their technically gifted, attack-minded players.
M'Vila is certainly capable of thriving in that role. His positional sense is excellent. It is rare to see M'Vila leave his defensive position on a reckless foray forward.
That's a quality Arsenal have not had from a defensive midfielder. Last season's starter Alex Song was especially guilty of vacating defensive areas too often, leaving the Gunners vulnerable to counter attacks.
In fact M'Vila's only problem defensively is that he can be prone to overly-aggressive lunges when tackling. He is certainly not unfamiliar with being shown a red card.
What M'Vila does offer is quality passing. He is a cultured and cerebral passer, who can start numerous attacks via creative distribution.
For all of their quick, pass and move players, Arsenal could use a midfielder who is clam and assured on the ball. The Gunners haven't always boasted their usual stylish brand of incisive passing football this season.
Adding M'Vila to act as a starting point for flowing, forward moves, could be key in reviving Arsenal's quality play. The signing would certainly represent a gamble, but The Independent claims Wenger could still be tempted, thanks to the enticing fee of around £7 million.854458