It seems a long time ago since Newcastle fans were threatening a riot if Yohan Cabaye was sold.
The midfielder eventually getting his dream move to PSG, Newcastle United banking £20m in January 2014.
However, the dream didn’t live up to expectations and after only 22 Ligue 1 starts i 18 months, Yohan Cabaye was heading back to the Premier League.
Many Newcastle fans hoped it would be to Newcastle but instead it was a £13m transfer to Crystal Palace.
After three years there, surprising to hear that at the age of only 32, the midfielder is going into semi-retirement in joining Al Nasr who play in the UAE Arabian Gulf League.
With 31 Premier League appearances (28 starts) last season, it isn’t as though he was past it.
Although maybe he wasn’t getting quite so far forward as he had been, Yohan Cabaye got no goals and one assist last season, compared to 4 goals & 3 assists and 5 goals and 1 assist in his first two seasons at Palace (when leaving Newcastle midway through 2013/14 Cabaye was in brilliant form, scoring seven (incl winner at Old Trafford) and getting two assists in only 17 PL starts that half season).
Interesting reading the views of Crystal Palace fans (see below) about Cabaye’s decision.
A right mixture- some gutted and some thinking he is now finished, some thinking he’s greedy and others that Palace should have offered more money for him to stay.
“First of all, I would like to say thank you to everyone involved at the Crystal Palace family,” posted the 32-year-old on Instagram below a picture of him clutching an Al Nasr shirt with number seven on the back.
“You’ve been amazing with me since day one and it’s been a pleasure to work alongside you. You will always be special to me and I’ll never forget my time at Selhurst.
“Huge thank you to the fans also, if we are still in the Premier League, it’s because of your support. So thank you, I’m going to miss you and I wish you all the best this season.
“Now I’m an Al Nasr player and I’m excited to start my new chapter. New shirt, new club but same number.”
Crystal Palace fans via their top Holmesdale message board:
‘I hope we replace him…
We tried to offer him a cheaper contract but at his age I don’t blame him for getting one last big pay day.’
‘What a waste of talent. must be for the wad.’
‘Good luck to him. Class player. We’ll struggle to get someone of that quality cheaply.’
‘Good luck to him, strange place to go but whatever floats ya boat.’
‘The fact he’s gone to Dubai reinforces that he’s past it,, even he knows that.
Onwards and upwards ….would only have been a bit squad player next season anyway.’
‘Look at it from Roy’s point of view, yes, a class player however he cannot play 90 minutes at this level any more. We will save a shed load of cash in wages which might just unlock the door to a quality signing that is Roy’s choice.
I wish him all the best however, he has played well for us and deserves a final big payday.’
‘I thought this might happen if we offered a contract on reduced terms. I suppose it’s to be expected as a player ages but for someone of Yohan’s quality, I don’t blame him for being affronted. It certainly didn’t give the impression that we valued the great contribution he has made for Palace – he reads the game so well and can pick out a key pass that others would miss.
Thanks for everything Yohan, it’s going to be a harder season without you.’
‘Gone for the cash. The standard is really poor. He would be challenged more signing for Dulwich Hamlet. What a waste of talent. Clearly sees the money as the lure not the football what a shame.
So now we move on.’
‘Gutted, absolutly gutted.
Sooo much love for yohan.’
‘Make no mistake. This is a huge blow for us and it is imperative we replace him.
He’s the one player we have in the team who can bring the ball down and play.’
‘I am very sorry to see Yo move on from Palace. His signing 3 years ago represented a big step forward for Palace as our first “marquee” signing in the Prem with a big transfer fee and wages. And, in my opinion, he’s been excellent value for money as his stats over 3 seasons consistently proved.
His are very big boots to be filled and his influence in midfield will be difficult to replace. Our midfield next season could look very different if we don’t manage to retain Rubén Loftus-Cheek for at least another season and there is any substance in the continuing rumours linking Andros Townsend with a move to Newcastle.’
‘When your missus is as fit as his is, he needs to keep her in the lifestyle she is accustomed to. So a smaller salary at Palace or a payday in the middle east?!?! Uuummm …’
‘Not sure how we will replace his quality. Not without spending 25 mil anyhow.’
‘Disappointed he’s gone but understand why it makes sense for both him and the club at this time.
For me, he was our first proper ‘wow’ signing in our current prem run, affirming we were in the big time and attracting a different level of player.
May not have hit the heights of scoring 40 yard screamers every other week (which I’m sure he did for Newcastle but probably actually didn’t) but very much appreciated watching his all round game.’
‘He’s been on almost £100k a week for last 3 years, how much money does a person need?
Disappointed he’s left but not surprised, no loyalty in football.’