So Who Could Replace Cabaye At Toon?

With Newcastle on the brink of losing star man Yohan Cabaye, WhoScored.com take a look at three candidates capable of replacing the Frenchman.

Last Updated: 28/01/14 at 19:38 Post Comment

Latest Articles

Football People On TV: Mark Pougatch

6 comments

ITV have a new man, the undeniably upper middle class Mark Pougatch. Being posh is a niche in football, but there's definitely room for it. He has a quiet authority...

F365's Record Signings Quiz - The Questions

Post comment

Given the high-profile struggles endured by Angel Di Maria, we have 20 questions on the record signings of Premier League clubs...

All Articles

Yohan Cabaye: Leaving Newcastle for PSG

Yohan Cabaye: Leaving Newcastle for PSG

The fact that what looks likely to be his last appearance in a Newcastle shirt was arguably the one that typified Yohan Cabaye's influence at the club is only likely to increase the fans' heartache ahead of his imminent departure.

Were he to have made the move to Paris Saint-Germain at the start of last season, some may have accused the midfielder of greed, with the riches of the capital club proving too strong. Now well into the oil money-injected project, however, PSG are emerging as one of the finest clubs in Europe, and the desire of a man known to have been homesick during his time in the north-east to play for the best team in his homeland is wholly understandable.

The Magpies' fans will likely be appreciative of such a fact, though they'll mourn the loss of a man who has proven to be instrumental in an albeit unpredictable time at the club. Newcastle sit eighth in the table and still hold faint hopes of European qualification through the league standings but the return to France of their best player would likely see such hopes diminish.

In what may well prove to be his swansong against West Ham the 28-year-old netted a superb brace from five shots in total, created four chances for team-mates and completed three tackles in a somewhat exaggerated display of the all-round capabilities that he's shown at St. James' Park. Cabaye's exploits earned him a rating of 10 from WhoScored.com, which was his first at the club since signing from Lille in 2011.

Here we look at the stats of a couple of compatriots tipped to replace him, along with another that could be best suited to the role.

One side that will have been hoping that Cabaye's switch to PSG did not come to fruition is perhaps Montpellier, whose prized asset Remy Cabella has been linked with a move to fill his fellow countryman's boots. The 23-year-old is undoubtedly their real bright spark, shining in a dull period at the club since the shock title-winning campaign of 2011/12.

The Frenchman operates in behind the striker, a role that Cabaye has been moved into by Pardew in recent times, though he can also play out wide if needed. He'd be by no means a like-for-like replacement, operating further forward than the Newcastle fan favourite, netting six goals this season from an average of 2.5 shots per game. He is more creative than Cabaye in general, creating 2.2 chances per game, but doesn't offer the versatility in being able to drop back into a deep position in midfield.

Clement Grenier, another of the touted transfer targets that Pardew seemingly has his eye on, is perhaps a little more capable. The Lyon man is also likely to be in higher demand, though both have been tracked by some of Europe's top teams. The playmaker, also 23, has already been capped three times for the national team and is more adaptable in terms of dropping deeper due to his superior physical presence, despite also preferring to play in the number 10 role.

Grenier is a set-piece and long shot specialist - since the start of last season only three players have scored more goals from distance (6) in Ligue 1 - so is perhaps better suited to covering for Cabaye's absence. He'd offer more height in the midfield area and does his fair share of defending, with an average of 2 tackles per game. Nevertheless he too is better known for his involvement further forward, mustering 2.6 shots per game this season, but doesn't offer quite the same stability and all-round ability as Cabaye.

That brings us to WhoScored.com's suggestion. Gregory Sertic is having by far his best season in a Bordeaux shirt and would likely be available at a cut price in comparison to the two before him here. A key player in the engine room for his side, the 24-year old has added an attacking threat to his game to pick up three goals and three assists from deep this season. It hasn't affected his defensive output though, with an average of 2.3 tackles and 1.9 interceptions per game, and if Newcastle are after another jack of all trades type, Sertic could be a very wise option.

Decent in possession, his pass accuracy of 83.7% is superior to Cabaye's but he doesn't just play it safe, connecting 73 long balls with a 74.5% accuracy compared to Cabaye's respective figures of 61 and 58.7%. The Bordeaux man is the best rated player for his side this season according to WhoScored.com, with his average of 7.40 just shy of the Newcastle dynamo's 7.46. He's not as accomplished in an attacking sense but has shown the progress that suggests that he could be a great replacement, with Cabaye four years his senior.

One thing is for sure, the Toon Army will sorely miss Cabaye and they must act fast if his transfer to PSG is sealed as expected. A win ratio of just 22.7% in the league games that Cabaye hasn't started since arriving in the north-east is a huge drop from 47.4% when he has been in the XI and indicates his importance to this side. The signing of any of the aforementioned three could be just the sort of turnaround the club need if they are to finish this season how they've started it.

Martin Laurence - follow him on Twitter.

All statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com, where you can find yet more stats, including live in-game data and unique player and team ratings..

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

m not sure about this distance covered malarky, plus that stat comes with *since February attached to it, that's just 1 month. I mean I have 27 open cases I'm 'working on' at the moment but believe me others with 10 cases work harder than I do. I just got back from a pub lunch, scampi and chips (+4 pints) in case you were wondering.

hurler
Wenger defends Ozil

C

isse should have appealed and explained that it was just a retaliation, just like Matic did. Apparently the FA are ok with retaliation.

Triangler
Cisse accepts FA charge

L

ove this guy. He's one of the few surviving players that I remember so vividly from Football Italia and Gazetta on Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons.

HarryBoulton
Francesco Totti - The King Of Rome

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Ryan Giggs enjoys working with Louis van Gaal; plays down rift reports

Manchester United assistant manager Ryan Giggs has played down talk of a rift with Louis van Gaal and hailed their "great working relationship".

Mesut Ozil defended by Arsene Wenger after Paul Scholes criticism

Arsene Wenger claims Paul Scholes "would have loved to play with Mesut Ozil".

Football Association names Martin Glenn as its new chief executive

The Football Association has named Martin Glenn as its new chief executive.

Mail Box

Why All The Hate For Robin Van Persie?

One Mailboxer can't work out why everyone is having a pop at Robin van Persie. Plus FA Cup anticipation, changing relegation, a Friday song and more Totti love...

Is Sissoko's Neck Very Distinctive?

Moussa Sissoko features in a really quite bizarre Distinctive Physical Features XI while we have mails on sexism, Angel Di Maria and Francesco Totti. Ramdom.

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company