Yann M’Vila believes Sunderland should be setting their sights far higher next season – provided they can extend their Premier League stay.
The 25-year-old has been the pick of the Black Cats’ summer signings and the midfielder insists everything is in place for the club to be a success on the pitch.
But I have played in every game and when you look at the staff and the players we have here at Sunderland, if we can keep this club in the Premier League then we will be able to set our sights a little higher next season.Yann M’Vila
The short-term focus remains firmly on making sure second bottom Sunderland remain in the top flight to take advantage of the new £5billion television deal.
M’Vila – hailed as the club’s shining light this season – plays down the hype surrounding him but he is adamant about the club’s potential.
“All my team mates are there to help me put in these performances,” M’Vila said when quizzed on whether he considered himself the best player.
“But I have played in every game and when you look at the staff and the players we have here at Sunderland, if we can keep this club in the Premier League then we will be able to set our sights a little higher next season.”
The Sunderland squad is currently in Dubai on a warm-weather training camp, a good chance for M’Vila, on loan from Russian club Rubin Kazan, to get to know the new recruits.
M’Vila has made it clear he wants to stay in the Premier League next season and Sunderland is his first choice – if the club can stay up.
The chances of that happening have been handed a significant boost thanks to the arrival of £5million defender Lamine Kone from Lorient and £9million Bordeaux ace Wahbi Khazri.
M’Vila, a former Rennes midfield enforcer, has experience of playing against the pair in the French top flight.
And he is now helping them settle into life in the North East.
“Yes, I think I’ve played against them,” said M’Vila.
“I obviously follow the French League now and I’ve watched them play a lot – I know exactly what they can do.
“I’ve tried to help them (settle in), but I’m not their translator!
“But I’m trying to help them go out on the pitch and really express themselves, and continue with the level of performance with which they were playing for their respective clubs in France.
“We’ve seen their first games and we’re really happy for them and hopefully that can continue because they can help us get out the relegation zone.”
There is a clause inserted into M’Vila’s loan to convert it into a permanent switch in the summer.
But Sunderland are currently only paying a percentage of the Frenchman’s wages, while several other Premier League clubs are keeping close tabs on the situation.
M’Vila’s representatives are already in talks with Kazan over ripping up his contract so he can become a free agent, as previously revealed by the Gazette.