Arsenal Target Dreams of Old Trafford move
Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United were put on red-alert this week as Montpellier defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa told French football magazine France Football that playing for Manchester United would be a ‘dream come true,’ despite being heavily linked to bitter rivals Arsenal.
Mbiwa, 23, when asked about his ambitions for 2013, said, “My dream is to play wearing the shirt of United at Old Trafford. In my dreams, I am sliding on my knees towards the corner at the stadium. I am scoring a decisive goal from a corner, a header. That would be alright!” The French international then added, “My favourite club, without a doubt, is Manchester United.”
Born in Central African Republic, Mbiwa received vast amounts of praise throughout the 2011/12 season as he captained Montpellier to their first ever league title. A string of consistent and impressive performance saw Mbiwa named in the Ligue 1 Team of the Season, alongside the likes of Eden Hazard and Younes Belhanda.
A physical and versatile defender, Mbiwa can operate anywhere in the back four, but prefers to be deployed at centre back. Comparisons have been drawn with Tottenham defender William Gallas as well as Chelsea legend Marcel Desailly for Mbiwa’s defensive capabilities paralleled by his skill and pace.
Valued at around £8 million, journalists in France have tipped Mbiwa to become one of the top centre backs in European football. At only 23, the French international is already showing experience beyond his years, and is the youngest captain in Ligue 1.
Despite Montpellier’s underwhelming start to the 2012-13 season, Mbiwa has still managed to impress, attaining an average match rating of 7.35 from WhoScored.Com, and as La Paillade have fallen to 11th in the Ligue 1 and failed to win a single game in the UEFA Champions League group stage, United may be able to prise the defender away from the club in the summer. Any move seems unlikely to happen in January with him ineligible to play in Europe for another club again this season.
Having already stated how he feels the English Premier League would suit his style of play, Mbiwa seems determined to end his six-year affair with Montpellier. His heart seems to be set on a move across the channel, and in particular, to the red side of Manchester. If either Rio Ferdinand or Nemanja Vidic leave in the summer and the likes of Hummels are out of our budget, Mbiwa may well be on Fergie’s radar.