Crystal Palace are all set to hold contract talks with French midfielder Yohan Cabaye, as they bid to convince the 32-year-old that he still has a bright future in SE25.
Having joined the Eagles from PSG three years ago, Cabaye was seen by many both inside and outside of the Palace bubble as a real statement of the club’s intent under the guidance of Alan Pardew. Indeed, the two had worked together at Newcastle United previously and for all of Pards’ faults, he was credited as playing a key role in getting the terrier-like midfielder to put pen to paper on a deal with us.
Now at the end of that contract, many expect Cabaye to turn down the club’s advances in favour of a return to France but after using him relentlessly since first stepping foot in the dugout back in September, manager Roy Hodgson is keen to tie Yohan down for at least another year or two.
Given the combative nature of the Frenchman’s game, we regularly see him subbed off around the hour mark after picking up a selection of bumps or bruises but that only seems to have endeared the Palace boss to him in the months they’ve worked together. There are plenty of neutrals who view Cabaye as a ball-playing number 10 but having had the pleasure of watching him week in, week out since the summer of 2015, I can assure any doubters that his game is actually quite different.
Of course, given his advancing years, he’s unlikely to be offered identical terms to what he’s currently earning but similarly, any move back to his native France is likely to see him forced to take a wage drop too. Whilst I would personally feel a tad uncomfortable at the thought of us breaking the bank to keep him on the books, I’d have no qualms whatsoever about him staying put following a moderately sized drop in pay ahead of the new season.
Talks, as Roy Hodgson says above, are ongoing, with no concrete news likely to emerge from the club for at least another week or two. I for one, hope we haven’t seen the last of Yohan in a Palace shirt.