2010 was truly a breakthrough year for Rennes youngster Yann M'Vila. He started the 2009-10 season as a promising youngster on the cusp of first-team involvement but since making his debut in August 2009, he has been an ever-present for Rennes, earning plaudits for his accomplished defensive midfield displays.
A product of the Rennes academy, M'Vila first caught the eye when he spearheaded the club's academy to their 2008 Coupe Gambardella (French Youth Cup) triumph and between 2006 and 2009 he represented France at every level from Under-16 to U-21.
He made an early impact, though not for the right reasons, after he was sent off in only his second senior start but returned from suspension to reclaim a place in the first-team. A fantastic debut season saw him named in France's provisional 30-man World Cup squad, but he failed to make Raymond Domenech's final cut. He didn't have to wait long for his international debut, however, as Laurent Blanc awarded him a first cap against Norway in August 2010 and M'Vila set up Hatem Ben Arfa's goal in a 2-1 defeat.
The Rennes star is now a permanent fixture for club and country and has attracted some envious glances from around Europe, with Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Liverpool all rumoured to be interested in acquiring his services.
Strengths: Robust in the challenge, M'Vila is happy to put himself about and fears no-one when it comes to making a tackle. He boasts a fantastic work-rate but is by no means just about lumbering physicality; he possesses superb vision and can be instrumental in building-up attacks from the back.
Weaknesses: M'Vila struggles when taking on players of genuine pace and, though it is not an integral part of the role he plays, his eye for goal is pretty poor.
Career high: Winning his first full international cap in August 2010, less than a year after making his debut in professional football.
Career low: Missing out on France's squad for the 2010 World Cup despite being heavily tipped to make the cut after being selected in the final-23. Though not being involved in Les Bleus' shambolic campaign in South Africa has hardly adversely affected M'Vila.
Style: Tough-tackling, committed, hard working, a similar player to Claude Makelele.
Quotes: "Yann has really shaken up the hierarchy here. For a youngster, he has an unusual level of maturity in his game." Rennes manager Frederic Antonetti shortly after M'Vila's debut in 2009.
Trivia: M'Vila's brother Yohan is also a professional footballer for Ligue 2 side Dijon. He has been called up by the Congo national team but is yet to make an appearance.