As far as careers go, Yann M’Vila’s has been anything but traditional, and after five years away, the 27-year-old is back in Ligue 1 with AS Saint-Etienne.
During his time abroad, the defensive midfielder spent time in Russia, at Rubin Kazan, who bought him from Rennes for around £11m, as well as going on loan to Italy with Inter and in England with Sunderland.
While his spell in Milan didn’t exactly go to plan, his 10 months at the Stadium of Light were far more enjoyable, and it’s a time he remembers fondly, as he explained to Onzeo in France, relayed by Madeinfoot.
Asked about his years away from France, he said: “People only go by what they say from the outside. They tell themselves: “It’s M’Vila, he’s an idiot, we know what happened, he’ll always stay the same”. Inter was a failure, I’m the first to say it. But Sunderland went really well, even if there were circumstances that meant I didn’t stay.
“In Russia, I was captain despite the fact I was unable to have a conversation in Russian with other players.”
Part of the infamous group of France U21s who were banned in November 2012 from national team matches until June 2014 for going on an unauthorised night out, M’Vila has paid his dues, and is far more mature.
Currently excelling at his new club, seemingly with a new hunger for football, perhaps this could be the time when he gets a big move somewhere?
Maybe another crack at the Premier League? Although, that probably won’t be with Sunderland anytime soon.