Yohan Cabaye has been a revelation on Tyneside since his arrival from Lille two years ago. Granted things turned sour when he refused to play for Newcastle United after they had rejected a £10 million bid from Arsenal. He still remains a key player for the side however, and it would be disastrous for The Magpies to lose him.
On average Cabaye scores a goal every six games, which is a decent return for a midfielder. These goals are usually pure class as well. Free kicks such as the 30-yard one against Manchester United in his first season. Long range strikes like the one scored against Liverpool recently. He has become a key player for Newcastle and when played alongside Cheick Tiote in the middle of the park, Newcastle are at their best. Vurnon Anita and Moussa Sissoko can provide other options in the centre of midfield but neither have yet shown the same amount of quality as Yohan Cabaye. Therefore if he were to be sold, a large amount of money would be required.
Arsenal, as has been well documented are a club who have spent barely any money in recent years for a club of their size. That was until the recent signing of Mezut Ozil. They are still said to have more money in the transfer kitty though. Their bid for Cabaye in August of £10 million was a bit embarrassing. Given some of the transfers in recent years, the French international is clearly worth more than that. Do Arsenal really need him though? They have an abundance of players capable of playing in Cabaye’s role, and are currently enjoying a great start to the season. Aaron Ramsey has looked top class this season, and there is still Wilshere, Arteta, Flamini, Rosicky, Diaby who can all play in the centre of midfield.
Liverpool are still looking to strengthen their squad despite a good start to the season. Brendan Rodgers missed out on a few transfer targets in the summer, and so there is clearly still some money left to spend. It remains to be seen whether Yohan Cabaye would be interested in a move to Anfield. He was clearly interested in joining Wenger at Arsenal, but most French players would be. Although Liverpool are looking great so far this season, is it much of a step up from Newcastle United? Given Liverpool’s transfer dealings in recent years, Mike Ashley may be tempted to see how far he can push them. Jordan Henderson for £20 million, Andy Carroll for £35 million, Stewart Downing for £20 million, these were all overpriced exaggerated deals. Yohan Cabaye is a better player than all three, so who’s to say Ashley wouldn’t demand a crazy price for Cabaye?
Although he received a frosty reception after refusing to play earlier this season, Toon fans know how important Cabaye is for them. Following a mixed start to the season, players like Cabaye, Coloccini, Tiote and Krul are the crucial spine of the team. If Mike Ashley wants to see the club progress then these players need to be kept. Coloccini may depart having said he would like to return home. But with Cabaye having three years left on his contract, the club should remain adamant he is not for sale. I regard him around the £20 million mark, but I’m unsure as to whether Liverpool or Arsenal would be willing to part with that cash for him.