The Black Cats powerhouse has been a rare ray of light for the North-East giants so far this season, and has adapted well to the Premier League despite his new side’s tumultuous campaign.
M’Vila is a big unit, who offers tenacity and mobility as well as astute passing and menacing long-rang shooting.
Perhaps it was these qualities that once made Wenger so tempted by the French international.
Ex-Arsenal target Yann M’Vila during his time at Stade Rennais
As revealed in an interview with Arsenal.com, Wenger has confirmed that he once attempted to sign the 25-year-old during his four-year stint at Rennes between 2009 and 2013.
Ultimately, the player moved to Russian side Rubin Kazan on a £8.6 million deal [Metro]—a move that took him out of the central narratives of the European game.
Tottenham legend urges Spurs star to move to Manchester United ‘before it’s too late’
Video: Cristiano Ronaldo in gay relationship with Badr Hari, claims journalist on French TV
Video: Tyson Fury’s sexist rant shows dark side of boxing champion following ‘pedophilia’ comments
Finally, he has arrived in England—a key player for Sam Allardyce as the former West Ham United coach looks to pull the Black Cats away from the relegation zone—and will be desperate to prove himself in Sunderland’s high-profile match away at former suitors Arsenal on Saturday.
There will be added motivation for M’Vila over the coming months as he looks to force his way back into the France squad ahead of next summer’s European Championship on home soil.