Usually a player moves to Arsenal, casts a spell on the audience of football with there array of passing, vision and goals and then Barcelona or Manchester City decide they want to buy them and they leave but now Barcelona are skipping the middle man.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa is a reported target of Arsenal and whilst playing against them in the Champions League for Montpellier some scouts from the Catalan club were also in attendance and thought to be watching the man from the Central African Republic, according to Talksport.
At only 23 years old he has already amassed over 150 appearances for the French Champions and has been a regular in the first team since he was 18 years old until now. Captain of the team, able to play across the entire back line and an extraordinary amount of experience at only 23 years of age, it is no wonder that both Wenger and Villanova are allegedly interested in signing the youngster.
Whether or not Mbiwa is interested in going remains to be seen but as most of Montpellier stars left in the summer, including one Olivier Giroud to Arsenal, and the fact that Montpellier have won one out of six this season means it may only be a matter of time till he decides to move on.
The fact that Giroud has already moved to Arsenal will only make the Emirates more appealing as he will have someone at the club that he is familiar with, something similar to when Podolski’s arrival was made smoother by having German team mate Mertesacker around. It also indicates a strong possibility that the relations between the two clubs are good and so Montpellier are more inclined to do business with Arsenal. The north London team also have a good track record of being patient and getting the best from French defenders ie Laurent Koscielny, who excelled last season and on Sunday against Manchester City.
Those are the cons of joining Arsenal but the cons for joining Barcelona don’t even need to be mentioned, its more a case of whether they need him or not. Even though they have a perfect record in the league so far this season their defensive frailties were magnified during the Supercopa defeat to Real Madrid, especially in the second leg.
With an ageing Puyol, Mascherano and an inconsistent Pique to choose from at the back they could do with more depth and Mbiwa is not only young and experienced but Villanova wouldn’t be breaking the already broken Spanish bank to bring him in.
I think that whomever Mbiwa goes to he will be a success and as much as all signs would point to Arsenal with a strong French base and former team mate Olivier Giroud, when Barcelona want a player it is very rare that they turn them down. Sorry Arsenal fans.