With Yohan Cabaye’s move from Lille all but done (just waiting for the international transfer market to open) I thought I’d take a look at just where the French international could fit into our team.
With Joey Barton not looking like signing a new contract any time soon it looks like he will be off. I don’t think it will be this summer, but I do believe that he’ll be gone when his contract runs out at the end of next season. I don’t think there will be any u-turns on that front.
So that leaves us with Kevin Nolan, Joey Barton, Cheik Tiote, Dan Gosling and now Yohan Cabaye competing for two positions – I’m not going to include Danny Guthrie or Alan Smith because I think they will either be sold or not considered to be starting XI players.
With Alan Pardew saying previously that he plans to play Hatem Ben Arfa in a more central role I think a either 4-4-1-1 or 4-2-3-1 formation is on the cards. Say it was the latter I think we could see something a long the lines of;
Cabaye and Tiote as the two, Ben Arfa and Gervinho/N’Zogbia (example) as the centre attacking midfielders with Kevin Nolan off a striker – which in my opinion would be fantastic!
Now I know Cabaye isn’t a holding midfielder but I think he will play a sort of Carrick role and pass it around neatly but will also have a bit more freedom and will be allowed to get forward at times.
I have to say that with Cabaye in the side and potentially more to come we have one of the best midfields outside the top five or six, although down the years midfield has always been one of stronger points, apart from last season when we played Leicester away and we had Butt and Smith in the middle. It still gives me nightmares now!
But that is all in the past thankfully! With Cabaye and more players still to come we are starting to build a decent little team. Hopefully all of that scouting will pay off and all of our signings, whoever they may end up being, will be able to hit the ground running at the start of next season.
It’s Alan Pardew’s chance to start shaping the team in his own image. The success if his signings will depend on many things, but it will be interesting to see just what he has planned for the likes of Cabaye.
Where do you see Cabaye fitting in?