He’s only been gone a few months but after being released from his contract out in Dubai, Crystal Palace fans everywhere are clamouring for the club to re-sign midfielder Yohan Cabaye on a short-term basis until the end of the season.
The Frenchman decided to walk away from contract talks with the Eagles at the end of last term despite a real desire on our part to extend his stay but now, at something of a loose end, I would imagine there is a part of his mind which would contemplate a short-term return to Selhurst Park.
Given the depth we currently have in the middle of the field, not to mention Yohan’s age and the need for added quality elsewhere, there are plenty of reasons to argue against bringing him back but part of me can’t escape the feeling that his invention and intelligence around the penalty area has been sorely missing for us this term.
Of course, his body was starting to go and he struggled to make it through a full 90 minutes; facts which will no doubt leave many wondering whether or not he’s up to making a comeback but with the team struggling so much in the final third, it’s difficult not to look back fondly at his eye for a pass which worked in our favour on so many occasions.
I and I dare say thousands of others had hoped that Max Meyer was the man to fill the void left by Yohan this summer but so far, the German has been unable to make much of a mark in south London. I had envisaged him playing as the most advanced of a central midfield three with two of Milivojevic, McArthur or Kouyaté playing in a deeper holding role behind him before the season began but under Hodgson’s guidance that simply hasn’t been the case. As and when he’s been given the chance to play, Max has often been deployed in a wide role which quite frankly, he doesn’t suit at all.
Whilst I can’t pretend to know more about the intricacies of the game than Roy, it does feel like a baffling and unnecessary misuse of Max’s skill set, particularly when we are crying out for a consistent creative force in the middle of the park. Had Meyer been used in that way, I can’t imagine I’d even be contemplating a return for Cabaye this morning but without that spark, it doesn’t feel like the worst idea in the world; at least we already know that Roy Hodgson trusts the Frenchman.