Yann M'Vila | 10 interesting facts

Yann M'Vila in a home shirt smiling at the camera

Yann M’Vila became the Baggies’ fourth signing of 2024.

The Frenchman, who penned a short-term deal until the end of the season, bolsters Carlos Corberán’s midfield options and joins with a determination to help the Baggies achieve their goals this term.

Amiens-born M’Vila boasts a wealth of experience from around Europe following spells in France at Rennes and Saint-Étienne, Russia with Rubin Kazan, Italy with Inter, England with Sunderland, and most recently Greece at Olympiacos - not to mention international experience with Les Bleus.

There’s been plenty of intriguing moments in the 33-year-old’s career up until now. See what they are below.

Yann M'Vila sat looking at the camera smiling in the gym

515 senior apps

Not too many players can say they’ve made more than 500 senior appearances, but M’Vila is one of them.

A tried and tested midfielder, Yann has proven his reliability at the elite levels in the past with 14 seasons of regular football under his belt since coming through the ranks at Rennes.

European pedigree

It was in one of France’s most well-established cities where M’Vila first felt the buzz of European football.

The defensive midfielder’s breakthrough campaign at Roazhon Park came in 2009 and within a couple of years, Yann was involved in Rennes’ qualifying campaign for the UEFA Europa League in 2011 - scoring his first goal in the process during a 4-0 win over Red Star Belgrade.

This would be just the start of his European adventure, stepping onto the big stages in Italy and Russia later down the line, but nothing would compare to the excitement of playing in the Champions League in Greece.

Olympiacos titles

Serial champions Olympiacos gave Yann exposure to Europe’s greatest tournament, and silverware was another enticing prospect the midfielder fulfilled during his days in Piraeus.

M’Vila was lucky enough to lift two league titles with “Thrylos” between 2021-2022 - the only major honours achieved over the course of his career.

Yann M'Vila in Champions League action for Olympiacos against Manchester City
M'Vila in Champions League action for Olympiacos against Manchester City

Play-Off experience

In order to seal title success in Greece’s Super League 1, though, teams must overcome additional play-off matches at the end of the campaign.

And having been involved in two fruitful routes to success, M’Vila will be hopeful of feeling that atmosphere again in the Sky Bet Championship as he looks to help Albion achieve a spot in the promotion places this time around.

Carlos relationship

During his final season at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium, the Rennes academy product linked up with Carlos Corberán for the first time.

Featuring in 10 of the 11 matches the Spaniard oversaw prior to his departure as boss, Yann was a trusted member of Corberán’s squad and he’ll be hoping for similar faith and chances during his second spell in English football.

Premier League safety

With Carlos’ Baggies currently pushing to get into the Premie League next season, M’Vila is all too familiar with England’s elite tier from his first stint in the country.

He became a fans’ favourite at Sunderland, linking up with the North East outfit on a season loan in 2015. The Frenchman’s robust performances under former Albion boss Sam Allardyce played a vital role in helping secure the Black Cats’ top-flight status in May 2016.

Yann M'Vila in action against Albion while playing for Sunderland in the 2015/16 season
Yann up against former Albion midfielder Sandro during the 2015/16 Premier League season

Tyne-Wear derby success

Not only was Wearside the place where the tough-tackling midfielder ensured Sunderland maintained their top-flight status, but it also allowed Yann to play in the renowned ‘Tyne-Wear derby’.

Thankfully, M’Vila helped his team claim the bragging rights over their arch rivals at the Stadium of Light during the first meeting in the 2015/16 season, providing an assist in a 3-0 win over the Magpies.

Post-match, the midfielder described the atmosphere as one of the best of his career.

Milan derby

Still, it wasn’t the only feisty derby occasion M’Vila has been involved in.

Despite only making 14 appearances during his time in Italy, Yann featured in the all-Milan affair for Inter against AC at the San Siro.

France Euros

Having played at one of Italy’s iconic stadiums, it wasn’t the last big game the Frenchman would feature in.

His impressive early performances for Rennes cemented him a spot in Les Bleus’ Euro 2012 squad. It was a tournament where the defensive-midfielder featured three times, as boss Didier Deschamps’ men went out at the quarter-final stage to soon-to-be victors, Spain.

Winner in Euro qualifier v Albania

With France in mind, M’Vila gained positives on the international stage when a less-common match winning moment fell his way.

In the same match Yann won his 12th cap for his nation, he scored his first goal - capitalising on Karim Benzema’s assist to curl a fantastic strike into the top corner to win his country their European qualifier 2-1 against Albania in September 2011.

Yann M'Vila in action for France at EURO 2012
The midfielder made three appearances for France at UEFA EURO 2012
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