Regardless of how the Fabricio Coloccini saga ends, it's time for Newcastle to find a new captain.
The Toon Army won't forget all that Coloccini has done for the club, from sticking with the Magpies through their Championship campaign to captaining a side only a few points away from a Champion's League spot just a year ago.
Yet, as the current season has taken a striking turn for the worse, the Argentinian international been less than a stalwart team leader, and January has become a PR disaster for the centre-back.
While it would be wrong to speculate on what exactly his personal reasons are for desiring to leave the club, the behavior of his father, Osvaldo, and the ridiculous demands of the president of San Lorenzo, Coloccini's suitor club in Buenos Aires, have rubbed many Newcastle fans the wrong way throughout the painful process.
Despite this San Lorenzo saga, the January transfer window has proved to be a positive one for Newcastle, as Mathieu Debuchy, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Yoan Gouffran and Massadio Haïdara have all been quality signings.
The link between these players? They're all French, but there's more than that to it.
Mathieu Debuchy was a perfect fit for Newcastle, not just because of his talent and the need for an upgrade at right-back, but also because of his tight friendship with Yohan Cabaye.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, French international and former Montpellier skipper, had this to say about his decision to chose the Magpies (via mirror.co.uk):
"In the French national team, with so many of our players here, we would talk about Newcastle when we met up. We discussed Newcastle a lot and that definitely helped with my decision."
The Newcastle players on the French international team at that time? Hatem Ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye.
Of course, transfers aren't solely built on relationships with other players, but the value of a friend in a brand new country cannot be underrated, and Cabaye has certainly been that to his countrymen.
He's been a friend to someone a little closer to home, too.
In Saturday's contest with Reading, Alan Pardew was resoundingly booed due to his questionable substitutions that played a part in their calamitous loss.
Which player stuck up for Pardew, taking full responsibility for his own substitution? Yohan Cabaye (via independent.co.uk)
To make a long story short, while "captain" Fabricio Coloccini has been adamant in his desire to leave the Magpies and has complicated the team's personnel situation, Cabaye has actively worked to bring in quality players while also trying to support Newcastle's embattled gaffer.
Forget the armband. It's been weeks since Coloccini was the real captain of this team.
And whether or not he still is a Geordie come February 1, Pardew should recognize that fact.
Yohan Cabaye has quite a bit to offer. He's a creative forced to be reckoned with on the pitch. He's a supportive teammate who is fluent in the two most frequently-used languages in the clubhouse. He's proven to be loyal to the club, as the only transfer rumors surrounding him currently are about who else he might help bring to the team. Above all else, he's drop-dead gorgeous.
And he's the perfect captain for the Magpies.
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