Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has compared Arsenal target Yohan Cabaye to Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick, adding that he is delighted to see the summer transfer saga that surrounded the Frenchman over, reports Sky Sports.
The 27-year-old was the subject of intense speculation during the recent window, after making it clear he wanted to leave St James' Park, after having his head turned by alleged interest from north London.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger was rumoured to want to bring Cabaye to the Emirates Stadium, but the Magpies stood firm in their refusal to sell one of Pardew's prized assets.
A month or so later, and Cabaye has successfully worked his way back into first-team contention, and the Newcastle manager says that any negative feeling between player and club is now water under the bridge.
"That was a difficult situation because I've got a great relationship with Yohan," Pardew told the Newcastle Evening Chronicle.
"When a player comes in and is trying to force a move, which really and truly he was trying to do - which happens at other clubs, we're not the only club that's happened to - then it's difficult and we had some words.
"I told him my opinion but the most important thing when you get through that process is coming out the other side that you're still intact. Fortunately, me and Yohan have come through that intact, and that's important."
Asked how important it was that Newcastle kept the France international on Tyneside - and from the clutches of Arsenal - Pardew was unequivocal in just how good and important a player that Cabaye is, and will continue to be in the Premier League, drawing comparisons with Manchester United star Carrick, who is one of the Old Trafford club's most consistent midfielders.
"(It's fortunate) Yohan stayed because I do feel that he's an important player for us," he added. "He's such a talent in terms of being a technician on the ball.
"He's just got such great quality. He's as good a midfield player as I've worked with and when you consider I've had Michael Carrick amongst many, I'd put him in that level.
"He's a player ingrained in the French side and will be a big part of the French team that goes to the World Cup, if they qualify."