Yohan Cabaye completed his move to Crystal Palace last Friday and is very much the biggest signing that the club has ever made in context of recent times. The rumoured transfer fee was £12.8m (including add-ons) and we can expect to see him in the red and blue of the Eagles at Selhurst Park throughout the 2015/16 Premier League season and beyond.
How much do you know about the new signing though? We have a look at the career so far of the French international.
Cabaye starting playing for Union sport Tourcoing (the same club as Didier Drogba) at the age of six. He was scouted by Lille and asked to join their youth team in 1998. Cabaye obliged and progressed through the ranks there before signing his first professional contract just before the start of the 2004/05 season. He made his league debut as a 18-year-old and went on to make six appearances altogether that season.
The following season, Cabaye began to establish himself in the team and made the squad 21 times including a solitary appearance in the Champions League against Manchester United. As the seasons went on, he became a regular in Claude Puel’s team. When Peul was replaced by Rudi Garcia, Cabaye was allowed to express himself more and blossomed. He also found himself on the score sheet often as he was chosen to take penalties for the team.
The 2010/11 season was one of great success for Lille as they completed the double; they won the league title and also triumphed in the Coupe de France competition. Despite such success, Cabaye felt it was time to seek pastures new and Newcastle United came calling. The French midfielder signed a five-year deal and became a regular in Alan Pardew’s side immediately.
In his first season in the Premier League, the player made 34 appearances and the following season continued in a similar manner but with the inclusion of more caps for the French national team. His form at St. James’ Park attracted the interest of Arsenal who had a bid rejected for him in the summer transfer window on 2013. The Gunners went on to sign Real Madrid’s Mesut Ozil and here’s what Pardew had to say about how things panned out:
“It’s not strange Arsenal were interested in Yohan, but in the end they went with Özil.
“That’s been particularly good business for them, but I think the better piece of business was us keeping Yohan Cabaye.”
Cabaye developed a knack for scoring sensational goals. He scored two of them against Liverpool: one was a long range screamer and the other was an angled drive in to the top corner. He also scored the winner in 1-0 against Man Utd at Old Trafford, their first league win there since 1972.
Once again, the Magpies’ resolve was tested, this time by PSG. But this time they accepted a fee with the French club and Cabaye was on his way to the French capital. There he has had to contend for a spot in the starting eleven with the likes of Blaise Matudi, Thiago Motta and Marco Veratti. He enjoyed a treble-winning season with his side this season and although he won numerous trophies with the French team in his time there, his playing time has become limited.