Arsenal should not sign Premier League star for £20m

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Towards the latter stages of the summer transfer window, Arsenal caused quite a stir with their determined pursuit of French midfielder Yohan Cabaye.

With the Gunners evidently looking to burst free of the shackles of their self-imposed frugality, Arsene Wenger appeared to be particularly eager to bolster his midfield unit. 

With the Frenchmen having earned a reputation for often favouring moves for his compatriots, Arsenal reportedly made a bid of £10 million for Cabaye's services in August.

Such a move proved to be somewhat controversial, with Newcastle boss Alan Pardew - who has a history of fractious exchanges with Wenger - insisting that the timing of the bid - which came prior to their 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Manuel Pellegrini's Manchester City - showed the club disrespect.

Despite the obvious interest from Wenger and Arsenal, however, Newcastle eventually claimed a morale-boosting triumph by resisting all interest in Cabaye, even re-integrating him successfully back into the starting XI following a period of uncertainly caused by the inevitably damaging transfer speculation.

He has returned to form of late, playing an integral run that has seen the Toon bounce back in admirable fashion from a potentially devastating last-gasp Tyne-Wear derby defeat to Sunderland to impressively conquer the likes of supposed title rivals Tottenham and Chelsea.

Such impressive form has seen Cabaye's name once again become a frequent fixture of the traditional gossip columns in the run up to the re-opening of the window in January, with the France international - reportedly rated at £20 million - supposedly a target for both Arsenal and  Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool.

Personally, however, I am left positively flummoxed by Arsenal's apparent continued interest in Cabaye. Whilst not wishing to underestimate his obvious talent, he would appear to offer nothing that they do not already possess - and for a massively inflated price tag.

Arsenal's midfield - with the resurgence of the magnificent Aaron Ramsey, the addition of the majestic German Mesut Ozil and the return of the combative Mathieu Flamini - has been perhaps the most impressive area of Wenger's side as they have defied their critics and risen to the summit of the Premier League table.

That is not to say it does not need reinforcing, however. Arsenal can certainly not allow complacency to creep in and potentially de-rail their momentum.They must seek to further strengthen the squad.

The key though, will be Wenger using the club's apparent new-found wealth to bolster the squad in exactly the right areas.

In particular, Arsenal need to find suitable competition for formidable French frontman Olivier Giroud and adequate cover for Flamini, who is often forced to miss spells through injury and suspension.

While Cabaye could certainly be categorised as an 'all-round' midfielder, the defensive side of his game is not strong enough for him to be that man.

Ultimately, Arsenal will surely make several key additions in the new year that are likely to have a decisive say in this season's especially unpredictable title race.

However, Cabaye, as talented as he is, should not be one of them - and certainly not for as ridiculously high a fee as £20 million.

Wenger needs to remain focused on the areas of his squad most in need of attention, even if that means that Rodgers swoops to take Cabaye to Liverpool.

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Premier League
Newcastle United
Yohan Cabaye

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