Yanga-Mbiwa thrilled to be at Lyon

Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has expressed his delight at securing a return to France's top flight after agreeing an 8 million euro move to Lyon from AS Roma.

After graduating from the Montpellier academy, Yanga-Mbiwa amassed a total of 219 appearances in 8 seasons and won the Ligue 1 title in 2012 before his £8.5 million move to Newcastle United.

An indifferent spell with the Magpies followed before Rudi Garcia brought the Frenchman to the Giallorossi, initially on loan before a permanent deal of £6.5 million was confirmed at the end of last season.

The move to Lyon comes as a surprise after his excellent performances in the Italian capital, but Lyon manager Hubert Fournier believes it's a signal of intent for this season.

"Mapou arrives at the club at a very ambitious time but with a clear idea of what is happening. It's a big investment that shows how committed the club is to success," Fournier said.

"We've followed Mapou since he was at Montpellier but we couldn't swing a deal to bring him here and he went to Newcastle instead. His arrival proves once again our desire to be as competitive as possible in the league and the Champions League."

The player himself spoke of his joy of joining Lyon and how his experiences in England and Italy shaped him into the player he is today.

"I wasn't expecting to come to OL," Yanga-Mbiwa said. "I thought it was just a rumor in the beginning. But then I spoke with the president and the coach, and they were very convincing.

"I had to give in… But I'm very happy to be part of the plans at Lyon. I'll give 100 per cent to help the team.

"In England, I got to know about a physical style of play and the value of individual physical preparation.

"With Roma, I learnt a lot under coach Garcia. In Italy, you work a lot on the tactical side of things."