Yohan Cabaye is back in the Premier League.
The French international midfielder, 29, has signed for Crystal Palace in a $15 million move from Paris Saint-Germain which sees him sign a three-year deal.
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His signing is a major coup for the Eagles, as Cabaye becomes their record signing and links up with Alan Pardew once again.
Cabaye played for Pardew at Newcastle United before signing for PSG in January 2014 for $35 million, but he failed to get regular minutes with the reigning French champions and has decided to hop back across the English Channel.
Speaking about his move to Selhurst Park, Cabaye is keen to help Palace build on their first-ever top 10 finish.
“I’m happy to be here. I’ve been waiting for the decision, had the medical and now I can’t wait to focus on my new team, a new season and my new life,” Cabaye said. “I wanted to come and play for Palace because there are some really strong players here. They finished very well last season and I think they can compete to get into the top eight.”
Cabaye also spoke about his admiration for Pardew as a manager, while the Frenchman will no doubt see regular playing time at Palace fundamental in nailing down his spot in Didier Deschamps’ France squad for the 2016 European Championships next summer. As for Pardew, he arrived at Selhurst halfway through last season and took Palace from the relegation zone to the top 10. His relationship with Cabaye played a pivotal role in persuading the central midfielder to sign for the Eagles.
Can Palace, as Cabaye says, break into the top eight? With Southampton, who finished eighth last season, having the Europa League to worry about this season and losing some key players, plus Swansea City and Stoke City easily within Palace’s reach in terms of the quality of player they possess, it’s not inconceivable that the Eagles can better last seasons best-ever finish.
With so much reliance on Palace’s fast counter-attacking threats of Yannick Bolasie and Wilfried Zaha out wide, Cabaye will provide poise on the ball in the center and will be able to help the Eagles dictate the tempo of matches, while also releasing the likes of Bolasie and Zaha with pin-point passes. A host of other PL clubs were said to be after Cabaye — Tottenham, Southampton and West Ham among them — so the fact that Palace got this deal over the line shows plenty about their ambition to cement themselves as top 10 team in the PL.
Cabaye’s arrival in south London is a major statement of intent from the Eagles, while their chairman Steve Parish has since claimed that key central defender Scott Dann will sign a new deal and won’t be moving to Everton. All in all, a great season can be expected as Pardew will give Cabaye the keys and let him drive the London club onwards and upwards.