Where Would Yohan Cabaye Fit in to the Arsenal XI?
Arsenal fans will have mixed feelings about being linked with Newcastle's French midfielder Yohan Cabaye.
Newcastle fans and Alan Pardew might be incensed by Arsene Wenger's bid, but Arsenal supporters have met it with mild indifference. After a summer of incessant speculation, this is not the sort of signing they were necessarily anticipating.
Cabaye is not the kind of marquee name Gunners supporters were expecting to see arrive this summer. He doesn't have the starry appeal of a Luis Suarez or Gonzalo Higuain.
However, he remains a solid Premier League performer. Arsenal's squad is threadbare, and needs an injection of numbers as well as quality. Cabaye would immediately add an experienced option to the Arsenal midfield.
It's an area where the Gunners are particularly weak at the moment. The long-term absence of Abou Diaby left Arsenal particularly reliant on Mikel Arteta at the base of the midfield. Since then, Arteta has become injured and his immediate understudy, Francis Coquelin, has left on loan. Arsenal are currently being forced to rely upon the youthful pair of Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere to anchor the heart of the team.
Instinctively, Cabaye is an attacking midfielder. He has an eye for pass and is capable of unlocking most Premier League's defences with his incisive through-balls. He also possesses a cultured shot and is a danger from distance both in open play and at set-pieces.
However, Cabaye also has the discipline and positional intelligence to play in a holding role. It's a position he has filled for both Newcastle and France on occasion. From deep, he is able to dictate the tempo of a game with his metronome-like passing and perceptive ability to find space at all times.
Cabaye's signing would be reminiscent of the arrival of Mikel Arteta in 2011. Like Arteta, Cabaye would arrive with plenty of Premier League experience under his belt, albeit in mid-table rather than at the top end of the division. However, Cabaye does have experience as a title-winner: he was part of the Lille side that triumphed in Ligue 1 in 2011.
Since arriving at the Emirates Stadium, Arteta has converted from a creative player to a holding midfielder or 'pivote'. Arsene Wenger may choose to put Cabaye through the same transformative process, using him as Arteta's understudy and eventual successor.
James McNicholas is Bleacher Report's lead Arsenal correspondent and will be following the club from a London base throughout the 2013/14 season. Follow him on Twitter here.
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