Talk of Yohan Cabaye deal measure of Palace progress under Pardew
Crystal Palace, 5/2 chances with Coral for a Premier League top 10 finish, are reportedly now in talks with PSG over the signing of France international midfielder Yohan Cabaye.
That the Eagles are even contemplating the purchase of such a player speaks volumes about this footballing hotbed of south London. Palace’s progress from relegation fodder to an established Premier League side will now allow them to attract this calibre of name.
A succession of British bosses – first Ian Holloway, then Tony Pulis, Neil Warnock and Alan Pardew – have relished their relative success with this lesser known capital club. In swooping for Cabaye, the Eagles could enjoy a midfield all-rounder that’s also a proven performer in England with Newcastle United.
With Pardew in charge at St James’ Park at the time of his signing, Cabaye turned out to be a typical transfer gem unearthed by Magpies chief scout Graham Carr.
Although he exited Tyneside in the winter window of 2014 for the Parc des Princes, Cabaye had earlier tried to force a move to Arsenal through. That Palace should now be linked with buying this box-to-box talent after courting and turning out for one of Europe’s elite is quite remarkable.
There’s been little stability at Selhurst Park since the late 80s and early 90s, but Pardew is now preparing the Eagles for their third successive top-flight term.
Lille native Cabaye’s return to France may not have been all he hoped for, with PSG flexing their financial muscle to ensure there is cut-throat competition in the engine room.
Although not overawed by playing alongside David Luiz, Thiago Silva, Edinson Cavani, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and others, Cabaye has seldom, if ever, been given the freedom of the Parc des Princes by Laurent Blanc.
Pardew allowed the player to express himself, often deploying Cabaye off the front, especially during his final few months with the Toon, in a role that left defensive responsibility to others.
It was a similar story earlier in his career; almost 250 games at hometown team Lille yielded just shy of 40 goals. Cabaye’s Newcastle average was a respectable one in five, yet he’s struck just three times for PSG in 53 outings.
At Palace, linking up with Pardew once again, he is likely to revert to a more forward-thinking role with a plethora of deeper-lying options available. With Eagles skipper Mile Jedinak, Scotland anchorman James McArthur and Wales left-footer Joe Ledley among those, capturing Cabaye would add real strength in depth.
There are also wide options aplenty to find him breaking from midfield, arriving late at the edge of the box. Yannick Bolasie and Jason Puncheon, in particular, have stepped up in their supporting roles, while Wilfried Zaha remains a popular wildcard to Selhurst supporters as he is a Palace academy graduate.
Operating off a lone frontman that could be any of Fraizer Campbell, Marouane Chamakh, Dwight Gayle or Glenn Murray, Cabaye could give his country a timely reminder of what he can do ahead of Les Bleus hosting Euro 2016, which they are 4/1 shots to win.