Yann M’Vila is the latest player to sign for Sunderland. Here’s some facts about the midfielder:
1) Early starter: M’Vila started young, playing for ES Sains-Saint-Fussien at just six years old and quickly gaining a reputation as a future star.
2) Football in the blood: His father, Jean-Elvis M’Vila, was a former football player from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
3) International mainstay: M’Vila has played for France at every level, from the under-16s all the way through to the senior international side, for which he has 22 caps after making his debut in 2010.
4) France ban: In November 2012, he was banned from national team matches until June 2014 after an unauthorised night out while on U21 duty. He hasn’t played for the national team since.
5) Midfield Dynamo: He’s described as a defensive midfielder, but has been used as a box-to-box player, particularly by Laurent Blanc during France internationals.
6) Premier interest: M’Vila had been a target for Arsenal and Liverpool after being touted as the ‘next Patrick Vieira’ - only to end up moving from Rennes to Kazan.
7) Single minded: He is said to have went on strike at Kazan to force through a move to Inter Milan.
8) No goal-getter: Don’t expect Steven Gerrard-esque strikes as M’Vila has gone seasons without finding the net.