The news that Yohan Cabaye will be returning to France with Paris St Germain has come as a bitter blow to Newcastle United and everybody around the club.
Particularly stinging is that they were helpless to stand in his way. Hopping from the challenge of securing European football to that of winning a league title, there was never going to be any chance of keeping him once the superpowers came calling.
Not for the last time will a club as passionate and popular as Newcastle lose a prodigal son to the elite of world football.
The pangs of sympathy at losing such a marvel like Cabaye will not help the club grieve for the talent that will now need replacing with just days of the transfer window remaining.
The simple fact remains that once the big guns come calling, that’s it.
In the modern era, the lure of the footballing superpower is at an all-time high.
Famous cases of the past include Dimitar Berbatov leaving Tottenham Hotspur for Manchester United, Joleon Lescott turning his back on Everton for Manchester City and Andy Carroll leaving for Newcastle for Liverpool.
There is an invisible ladder in football that players climb to better themselves, their wage packets and their medal collection. There is nothing wrong with it, but from the clubs perspective it can be agonising to witness.
Even this summer, Willian opted for Chelsea having been a subject of a bid from both Tottenham and Liverpool. The Blues, under Jose Mourinho, offering Champions League football and a near-guarantee of a title push, proved too strong to refuse.
Tottenham were also insufficiently placed to prevent Gareth Bale leaving for Spanish giants Real Madrid in the summer. It was a similar case with Neymar joining Barcelona from Santos. Despite emotional ties, with staggering amounts of money involved and a possibility of silverware, the clubs cannot stand in their way.
Cabaye will be missed but the club will survive. European football at St James’ Park next stadium should be enough to stop the big boys calling again.
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