Newcastle are reportedly edging closer to the signing one of France's most exciting prospects, Remy Cabella.
With 6 goals and 3 assist in 16 games for a struggling Montpellier side this season, the 23 year-old Frenchman has made a name for himself, one that has attracted the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool over the past few months.
There is no doubting his talent; he’s got bags of potential and is being tipped for a place in France’s World Cup squad this Summer. Newcastle fans far and wide are already raving about this new Frenchman to arrive on Tyneside, and someone’s already even jumped the gun on wikipedia, changing his current club to Newcastle United – the dream is alive.
But, hang on a minute… do we really need him? I don’t think so:
In spite of his undoubted quality, I cannot understand why Newcastle would be willing to splash out £14m on a player that, I believe, is merely a slightly less-talented carbon-copy of our current maestro, Yohan Cabaye.
Out of the 16 games that he’s played for Montpellier this season, 12 of them have seen him holding the central attacking midfield role, a position that has been eternally assumed by our mecurial stand-out, Yohan Cabaye.
Though a question can be made for a new midfielder, I believe it should stand more in the form of a wide-player. A few tabloids have documented Cabella as a natural winger, who can drift in out and from the left and assist the front men accordingly. However, the reality is, he has only played on the wing twice this season for La Pallaide.
One of the hallmarks for success, I believe, is having a full squad, and with that, quality in depth. At the moment, I do not believe we have the depth to fully embed ourselves within the seemingly fickle top 6 of English football. Having said that, we already have four solely central midfielders – Cabaye, Sissoko, Anita and Tiote – who would all get into 80% of the league’s starting XI’s.
Therefore, I feel that we should be concentrating our efforts into signing a born-and-bred wide player, who is, quite simply, used to playing out wide. At the moment, Sissoko and Gouffran are starting in these wide positions, and though both have impressed, especially the latter, their style of play tends to resemble that of more central attacking midfelders.
Neither player can be described as great crossers of the ball, and I’m not sure Cabella can hold that title as well. With Loic Remy up front, one of the best natural finishers of the ball in the country, maybe that isn’t a priority, but I still feel that the lack of an out-and-out winger is the side’s largest deficiency at the moment.
In addition, Pardew has already come out and said that it is unlikely Newcastle will be making major changes this January. Therefore, if we are restricted by a budget, it would be far more sensible to focus on a new striker – Remy is is most likely going to leave at the end of the season, to leave just Papiss Cisse and Shola Ameobi as the only [just about] convincing strikers in the squad.
Elsewhere, with Coloccini out for 6 weeks, surely we would do much better to sign a central defender on loan, to at least fill the plug until Coloccini’s return.
And then also we have the trouble of Ben Arfa’s role within the squad. Having made 7 substitute appearances this season, he seems to have lost his way, and of the times I’ve seen him at home this season, he has added very little when we needed him most; he has been selfish, wasteful and lazy. So, would this Cabella arrival signal the end for him?
Cabella would undoubtedly add to the squad; indeed, we’d be lucky to have him, don’t get me wrong. But the realist inside me, dampened by Ashley’s fettered wealth, leads me to question the thought behind this move – just what role would Pardew want him to play? And who wold lose out?
These are just a few worries I have about this move. Indeed, it may all be tabloid crap, and merely just another fabricated rumour. However, it does seem to hold weight through the football writing world, and I guess we’ll see in the coming weeks.
What do you think? Just where would he fit in, if the move were to materialise?