Raz Mirza felt we didn't see the best of reported Arsenal target Yann M'Vila in France's defeat by Spain
By Razwan Mirza - Tweet me: @RazMirza. Last Updated: June 23, 2012 11:19pm
Yann M'Vila: He has been a midfield mainstay for rejuvinated France
European elite clubs, including Arsenal, have been keeping a very close eye on defensive midfielder Yann M'Vila. In truth, they will have not gathered much information from the game against Spain, although on a personal level he will have taken much away after his first major tournament.
Yann M'Vila was the new face of the French midfield heading into the European Championships. But now, everybody in Europe will be talking about him.
Les Bleus had been crying out for a Claude Makelele and Patrick Vieira type player after they were put out of international service and thankfully for them, along came M'Vila.
The powerful midfielder should not be judged on his performance against world and European Champions Spain at the quarter-final stage, as his night at the Donbass Arena in Donetsk turned out to be a long one.
Despite showing good fight and spirit against the likes of David Silva, Cesc Fabregas and Andres Iniesta, he wasn't given much help by his colleagues in what turned out to be a lacklustre display from Laurent Blanc's side against what seemed like The Spanish Armada.
He did, however, produce the best pass of the night to release Franck Ribery down the left-wing early in the second half, before being substituted with 12 minutes remaining.
M'Vila, who turns 22 next week, will have been pleased though, with this - his first major international tournament, and is sure to take the experience forward into the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign and then Euro 2016, which will be played on French soil.
Having been in impressive form for his club Rennes, the midfield stalwart has attracted the interest of Europe's biggest clubs and the Breton outfit have admitted that they can no longer keep him.
The Amiens-born player is a sublime and rare talent.
His intelligence, reading of the game and metronomic distribution of the ball is second to none.
And although he is perhaps guilty of turning Rennes into a one-man band at times, he is more than capable of becoming one of Europe's best holding midfielders.
With Arsenal reportedly very interested in the six-foot powerhouse, a £16million price tag has been suggested for him.
M'Vila had recently claimed that he would be interested in moving to the Premier League and joining Arsenal in the summer.
M'Vila, who played in eight of the 10 Euro 2012 qualifying matches, has made the defensive midfield position his own.
His combative style has brought a new found resilience to the national team.
He is very aggressive and marks his territory well, working in the shadows. He simply does not allow anybody into his zone ahead of the defence.
His job is to control the ball and pass it on; to win the ball back and pass it on. A simple, but important part of the Le Bleus engine room.
M'Vila's motto is 'work hard' and it was only natural that he graduated to the French first-team and is rightfully on the radar of some of Europe's elite clubs.