All-rounder Yohan Cabaye the key to Crystal Palace's success this season

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Football News

During his first spell in English football with Newcastle United, Yohan Cabaye made his name as an attacking midfielder; since his move to Crystal Palace from Paris Saint-Germain, however, he has found top form in a defensive role and proved crucial to the Eagles' season aspirations.

When the Frenchman first joined the Magpies in 2011, he was utilised behind the strikers by former - and present - manager Alan Pardew. His impressive performances helped his team to fifth in the table, above eventual Champions League winners Chelsea.

During his two and half years at St James' Park, in which he scored 17 Premier League goals and provided ten assists, Cabaye became renowned for his long-range passing, shooting and ability from set pieces.


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Such form caught the eye of Ligue 1 giants PSG, who saw fit to spend £19 million and bring the midfielder to the Parc des Princes. This was also a move Cabaye was keen on amidst his desire to play for a bigger European side.

The time spent back in his homeland was a disappointment for Cabaye, however. In the 18 months he spent with PSG, he made only 21 league starts and just a further three in the Champions League, scoring just two goals in all competitions.

Though a transfer to Palace last summer came as a big surprise, it was the logical move. The 29-year-old was signing for a team where he would get regular game time under a manager who trusted and worked closely with him at Newcastle.

With the Eagles' array of attacking talent, Cabaye was always going to struggle to find a place in the side in his favoured position. Instead, Pardew deployed the Frenchman in a more defensive role alongside James McArthur.

It's a position Cabaye has thrived in. Only Leicester City’s N’Golo Kante has made more interceptions than the France international who, despite his defensive role, has contributed five goals this season.

What's clear is the influence that Cabaye holds on his Palace teammates. They currently sit seventh in the Premier League and have put in some excellent performances.

When the midfielder was suspended for his side's clash with Chelsea, it was clear they lacked creative quality and succumbed to a 3-0 defeat as a result.

If Palace can keep Cabaye fit for the rest of the season, there is no reason why Pardew's men can’t keep up their excellent form and secure themselves a place in next season's Europa League.

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