2. Yohan Cabaye – Newcastle United
It still amazes me that Yohan Cabaye moved from Ligue 1
winners Lille to the North East for only £4.4million.
That Arsenal tried to sign him in the summer is no surprise - Cabaye is a top player with a good
passing ability and a terrific shot from outside the box.
He is the link between the defensive third and Newcastle’s attacking third and without him the
Geordies look a shell of a team.
His petulance at refusing to play for Alan Pardew’s side at Manchester City in the wake of Arsenal’s reported interest damaged his reputation in the eyes of the neutral but such is his importance that Pardew had to welcome the Frenchman back into the fold.
His lovely strike against Liverpool showed his class, and he is the one playmaker in the Newcastle side.
Without him the team from St James’ Park tend to hit it long and bypass the midfield altogether, but without Demba Ba upfront the ball tends to be overturned quickly and easily.
It is easy to see why Newcastle turned down Arsenal’s £10million bid, which not only misses how much the player is worth in the current market but also how crucial he is to Newcastle.
Graham Carr, the chief scout, deserves the plaudits for finding Cabaye for such a bargain price.