Arsenal

Arsenal Transfer News: Why Gunners Must Not Sign Yohan Cabaye

NEWCASTLE, ENGLAND - AUGUST 31: Yohan Cabaye of Newcastle in action during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Fulham at the St James Park on August 31, 2013 in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England. (Photo by Paul Thomas/Getty Images)
Paul Thomas/Getty Images
Christopher AtkinsContributor ISeptember 2, 2013

According to an exclusive in Sunday's Daily Star, Arsenal have returned with a renewed £15 million bid for Newcastle central midfielder Yohan Cabaye.

Cabaye, 27, has been linked with a move to Arsenal since the opening weekend of the Premier League season, when the Gunners filed a bid for his services on the day of Newcastle's opening match—much to the consternation of manager Alan Pardew.

While interest appeared to have died down after that initial rejection, the suggestion is that Arsenal have now returned with an increased bid just two days before the end of the summer transfer window. Whether it will be enough, though, remains to be seen.

But, in truth, do Arsenal really need Cabaye?

That, surely, is the biggest question regarding their reported interest. Cabaye is a very good player but, given Arsenal's current options, is very much more of the same:

Certainly, with many observers having identified a defensive midfielder as a requirement for some time now, the arrival of Cabaye would fail to bridge that deficiency were nobody else were to arrive.

Even if a recognised holding midfielder were to arrive as well, though, is Cabaye a step up from Arsenal's current central midfield options? That is certainly debatable.

In truth, much like the majority of Arsenal's summer, the pursuit seems to make little sense. If they had really wanted the former Lille player, he could have been signed months ago and, given the proximity of the end of the window, he would surely have cost less at that point.

Should he sign, I have no doubt that Cabaye would perform well for Arsenal. Whether he would do anything to change the club's gradual decline over recent years, though, would seem unlikely.

Only this past week, Geoffrey Kondogbia moved to Monaco after having been available from Sevilla all summer, per Eurosport. Etienne Capoue, meanwhile, is another who has been on the move, joining North London neighbours Tottenham for £9 million, per BBC.

Both players were well-known to Arsenal and operate in the defensive midfield role that the club so desperately need. Both, though, were somehow overlooked.

Such has been Arsenal's summer that, even when they did move for a midfield anchor in Brazil's Luiz Gustavo, they were beaten to his signing by Wolfsburg, per BBC.

For the club's supporters, such hesitancy to act in the market must be incredibly frustrating—especially when the team's weaknesses have been so well-documented for quite some time.

Cabaye is a good player, but he is just not what Arsenal need. He would be a good squad option at the Emirates, but that is not what he would want ahead of the World Cup, nor is it the best use of Arsenal's available funds.

We will find out within 48 hours whether the transfer will go through, but the suspicion must be that Newcastle would be delighted if they could get anything in the region of £20 million for the player.

Given the lack of time remaining in which to do business, it is easily a price that Arsenal could find themselves paying.

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