The French Angle: A closer look at Premier League transfer targets Loic Remy and Yann M'Vila
Newcastle and Tottenham have been linked with the Ligue 1 players
Thursday 10 January 2013
Loic Remy and Yann M'Vila have been linked with moves to the Premier League with Newcastle and Tottenham respectively leading the chase.
Here, The Independent's French football blogger Matthew Riding assesses their qualities and how they might fare in England.
You might have heard that QPR manager Harry Redknapp travelled to France at the weekend to cast his careful eye over transfer target, Loic Remy. Although it is rumoured the 26-year-old Marseille striker rejected the London club’s advances, Remy has attracted interest from other Premier League outfits, including Newcastle United, who recently added Lille fullback Mathieu Debuchy to their ranks. But what exactly would Remy bring to the Premier League if he was to make the switch from Ligue 1?
Although his overall scoring record for Marseille is a healthy one (28 goals in 74 appearances), Remy's opportunities this season have been limited. The former Lyon, Lens and Nice forward has made only three starts and has one league goal to his name. However, despite turning down QPR, Newcastle United are thought to be a more likely destination for the forward, and the Magpies are rumoured to have made a bid within the region of £11million.
Although Marseille manager Elie Baup has tried to play down the likelihood of the transfer happening, it is thought Remy is keen to join Alan Pardew's men, and the deal could go through in the next few days.
So what kind of player would Newcastle be getting if the French international was to sign?
One of the attractions of Remy, is that he is equally comfortable playing up top and out wide. He proved in his first season for Marseille he is just as effective from the wide position, scoring 17 goals in 41 games. However, his preferred position is centre forward, and his strength and power should help him do well in the Premier League if he was to make the move.
Having been linked with Stoke, Chelsea and Tottenham over the past few years, it seems just a matter of time before he becomes a Premier League player. Although his form and fitness this season has been inconsistent to say the least, his physical attributes and eye for goal should improve any side in the division.
Premier League Success or Failure: Success
Most Likely Destination: Newcastle United
Another Ligue 1 player who seems to be linked with a Premier League side every other week is Yann M'Vila of Rennes. M'Vila's talent has never been doubted, it is the 22-year-old's attitude that has perhaps deterred Europe's big clubs away from his powerful midfield presence. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been tracking M'Vila for a few years, and despite his interest, has never formally bid for the player. Rennes reportedly offered the midfielder to Arsenal for £8million only last week, but his disciplinary problems - most notably the 19-month international ban for a late night jaunt to a Paris nightclub - have put Wenger off buying the Frenchman.
Despite Arsenal's fading interest in the star, QPR have again targeted Ligue 1 as a source for a new signing, as have Tottenham, who are maybe seeking a long term replacement for Scott Parker. Would M'Vila be a success in the Premier League?
M'Vila's tough-tackling style should see him do well in English football. He has bucket loads of energy and his ability to break up play would give the defensive line protection. Although M'Vila possesses energy, aggression and intensity, he lacks a goal threat that perhaps his rivals in the same role have in their armoury, most notably the newly reinvigorated David Luiz of Chelsea. However, being only 22, he has time on his side to add other aspects to his already impressive game.
Premier League Success or Failure: Success
Most Likely Destination: Tottenham Hotspur
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