With Cabaye Gone, How Will Palace Look To Replace Him?

1 Posted by - July 5, 2018 - News

Tuesday evening saw confirmation that Yohan Cabaye had left Crystal Palace with the Frenchman opting for a new challenge with Dubai-based outfit Al Nasr. Now, questions loom over how Palace will look to address the hole his exit has created in their midfield.

There can be no debate over the fact that the former Newcastle man played a key role in Roy Hodgson’s first-team plans throughout the 2017/18 season but it would be short-sighted to suggest that signs of fatigue weren’t starting to show in his game. Whilst he was able to patch himself up well enough to start most Premier League games throughout the campaign, he was rarely on the pitch when the final whistle sounded; a fact which left the Eagles hierarchy with no option but to offer him a reduction in his previous high weekly wage.

A very small minority have suggested that the central midfielder has “sold out” by heading to the desert but I for one don’t blame him for jumping at the chance of one last big payday in the sun. Could he have done a job in the top flight for another year or two? Absolutely. Should he feel obligated to put his body through hell after the career he’s had to date? Not in my book.

My initial reaction to his departure was one of rather frantic concern, given the regularity with which he’s been used by Hodgson since September but the longer I’ve had to digest the news, the calmer I’m becoming. Plenty have already suggested that Dutchman Jairo Riedewald is now primed and ready to step into Yohan’s shoes, having shown signs of his potential throughout his debut campaign in SE25 whilst one or two others have implored the gaffer to show faith in young England starlet Nya Kirby.

I’ll be the first to admit that the prospect of an academy lad making the step up into the first-team is incredibly exciting but at the level we operate, Roy will have to be 100% sure of Kirby’s abilities before throwing him in. In these heady days of summer it sounds like a wonderful idea to pass the baton on to a youngster but once the season gets underway, results will be all that matter to most, leaving little to no room for error from those that Roy selects to play.

Whilst we didn’t receive any transfer fee for Cabaye, his move does free up a sizeable chunk of money within the wage budget. At first glance, it seems obvious that we’ll be looking to source a like-for-like replacement but with McArthur, Milivojevic, Puncheon, Riedewald and Kirby already on the books, not to mention the endless discussion over a possible return to Selhurst for Ruben Loftus-Cheek, you wonder if Hodgson will opt to stick or twist in terms of recruitment.

Are other areas of the squad a more pressing concern? It’s almost impossible to know how the gaffer is viewing things but I wouldn’t rule out Kirby being backed to play an active role in the senior side between now and May. Of course it’s a daunting prospect but until now, the youngster has passed every test thrown his way with flying colours, what’s to say he won’t do it again?

HLTCO has no adverts, we cannot survive without your help.

9 Comments

  • Help July 5, 2018 - 6:49 am Reply

    Kirby far from ready
    Punch past it
    Reduction in wage for Cabaye doesn’t make sense
    Especially as from our first 11 we now have to replace Cabaye 25 plus games and Loftus 20 plus games
    Why has this been left so late again the sniff test says parish in his words wanting to do a deeeewl no what I mean
    Bloody carpet salesman
    Another season of bullshit on the way

    • admin July 5, 2018 - 9:39 am Reply

      It’s tricky with Kirby, as no one would have thought AWB was ready either, yet he’s flourished. Take your point completely on Puncheon, though.

  • terence carter July 5, 2018 - 7:08 am Reply

    my total reaction as well.im not saying kirby cannot be introduced,but we need a midfield leader,commmander.and as i feel l-cheek will go elsewhere,we are very vulnerable in midfield.

    • admin July 5, 2018 - 9:39 am Reply

      I honestly feel as though, if he is allowed to leave Chelsea on loan, he’ll opt for us given the guarantee of game time. That is a huge “if” though.

  • ee signing July 5, 2018 - 9:36 am Reply

    We need something but I think we should get away from the idea that we need a like for like replacement. Gor mine Luka/Riedewald can take care of the defensive side of midfield and a younger man brought in who can do 90 minutes more often. If as I understand one issue may have been FFP this may free up money to do this. I wont hold my breath that this will be Wilsher btw nor like some am I throwing mmy hands up in horror.. I am sure Roy can fashion a strong midfield unit as without strikers last year our team had a a very unorthodox shape. We must though say hands off on Townsend. We need to evolve not start again

    • admin July 5, 2018 - 9:43 am Reply

      I’d agree on Townsend, unless we get £22 million or more. For me (and this is only my personal view) that is the point at which it starts to look like too much to turn down. I accept finding a like for like replacement, (given our transfer record) is highly unlikely though.

  • Jose Fonte, baby? Jose Fonte, oh, oh, oh July 5, 2018 - 10:12 am Reply

    Having a guy who is knackered after 60-70 mins on £100k is obscene for a club of our size. Likewise having Wilshere on god knows how much being unfit and knackered after 70mins would also be obscene.

    We need someone who is physically robust but also able to play the ball a bit. By comparison, Amadou (January train bloke) moved to Sevilla for £22m this week so that is what the market rate is for a player not even at the WC.

    Also Kirby and Flanagan play as attacking midfielders for the u23s. Gio McGregor is the holding player and looked good during our success at that level. More deep-lying playmaker than destroyer.

  • Todd July 5, 2018 - 10:21 am Reply

    Could it finally be time for Jonny Williams?

  • Eric The Ninja July 5, 2018 - 10:42 am Reply

    Joniesta! Please Roy just give him one game! As has been said Luka/McArthur/Jairo in the central roles is decent. I know it’s not Roy’s way but I’d like a more natural wide man in the team, seeing as we’ll likely continue with Townsend/Zaha/Wickham/Sako (if he re-signs) up front. We still need a centerback, if not two. All this needs doing with money we hopefully get from Benteke. It’s gonna be tight. Again.

  • Leave a reply