Recent reports have Crystal Palace set to sign Yohan Cabaye from Paris Saint Germain for a club record fee of £10m that includes a possible £2.5m extra. Cabaye has spent the past season and half with the Ligue 1 champions after his £19m move from Newcastle United back in January of 2014. Unfortunately for him, this time has not been very prosperous. Instead of solidifying his place in the French National team side, he is now in a position of having to worry about losing this place.
Last season Cabaye started in just 13 matches for PSG and he has had to continually fight for a place with players that include Blaise Matuidi, Marco Verratti, and Thiago Motta. This is not to say that Cabaye doesn’t have the ability to win a place in this PSG team, but more to the fact that manager Laurent Blanc prefers other players.
Alan Pardew was responsible for bringing Cabaye to Newcastle United from Lille back in the 2011/12 Premier League season. A move to Crystal Palace would make sense for a reunion with Pardew who has brought out the best in the 29 year old midfielder.
This would be a massive signing for Crystal Palace and would instantly make him a player worth picking up in fantasy Premier League. With Pardew preferring to play a 4-3-3, similar to PSG, Cabaye would not need to make many adjustments to his style of play. While many of his best stats come from his half season at PSG in 2013/14, he excelled in the Premier League prior to his move to France.
In 2012/13 and 2013/14 he was averaging 1.96 and 1.63 key passes per game along with creating 2.04 and 1.74 chances per game. In those seasons he had two assists each season along with six and seven goals.
These are some great attacking stats, but what highlights Cabaye’s abilities as a quality central midfielder is his all-around play. Here are a few of his defensive stats in the Premier League on a per game basis. This is due to him having played in 26 games for Newcastle United in 2012/13 and 19 games in 2013/14
|2012/13 EPL season||2013/14 EPL season|
|Successful Take Ons||0.27||0.32|
All statistics courtesy of Squawka.com
You might wonder why I’m only taking statistics from his Premier League seasons. That reason is largely due to his role at Newcastle United under Alan Pardew and the fact that he will likely be played the same way at Crystal Palace. There is also the fact that he is returning to the Premier League and I would rather compare like statistics whenever possible. Gameplay varies between leagues and being able to look at how a player has played in the Premier League in the past is a pretty good indicator of how well he may be able to replicate that ability in the future.
What this means for fantasy Premier League managers is that there will now be another Crystal Palace player out there offering high value. In draft leagues , such as Play Togga, there is a good chance of him going in early rounds as a MID1 or MID2. He is certainly good enough to warrant such a high pick.
There is also the resurgence of Crystal Palace and their attack. If they are able to add some more firepower up front they will be a decent team vying for a Europa League place. There have been some rumors of interest in Charlie Austin, but then again, he’s been linked to nearly every Premier League club this summer.
Still, the addition of Yohan Cabaye would be a major lift for the South London based Crystal Palace. It certainly signals their intent to push for better than finishing tenth in the Premier League.