Why Yohan Cabaye Is the One Player Manchester City Should Sign in January

Rob Pollard@@RobPollard_Featured ColumnistJanuary 25, 2014


The Manchester City squad is looking very strong, indeed. They have plenty of options in attacking areas, and are on an 18-match unbeaten run in all competitions. They remain in the hunt for four trophies, with a trip to Wembley in March for the League Cup final their first opportunity to win some silverware under Manuel Pellegrini.

Scott Heppell/Associated Press

With the squad in such good health, the likelihood of January signings appears remote. City would surely only be interested in the highest quality player, meaning this window isn't the best time for them to enter the market.

In an ideal world, a top-class centre-back and left-back would come in and complete their squad. They are the two areas that City most need to strengthen, but the prices being quoted for players in those positions are ludicrous.

Luke Shaw is one player who has often been linked with a move to the Etihad, but the Southampton left-back is being valued at around £30 million, according to Joe Bernstein in the Mail.

The 18-year-old is very highly regarded, and would help City fill their home-grown quota, but being so inexperienced at the top-level means a fee that high is a risk, and City would be better to wait until the summer to weigh-up other options in that position.

Michel Euler/Associated Press

World-class centre-backs are just as hard to get. Sergio Ramos was linked with City back in November (via the Mail), but with his market value and salary likely to be hefty and his value to Real Madrid still high, again it's a deal best left for the summer. Eliaquim Mangala, Porto's French centre-half, would also be an excellent option, but he is likely to cost a huge sum given his growing reputation.

The only other position that could use some reinforcements is in central-midfield, where their options beyond first-choice pair Yaya Toure and Fernandinho are somewhat limited.

Javi Garcia is City's first reserve in that role, and although he has improved hugely in recent matches and is beginning to show some good form, he lacks the pace and passing ability needed to excel as a midfielder in English football.

Unfortunately for City, Jack Rodwell, their excellent box-to-box midfield man who would be the perfect replacement for Fernandinho and Toure, is too often injured and is therefore somewhat unreliable.

That's why Newcastle's Yohan Cabaye would be an excellent addition in January. He is one of the best players to play at St. James' Park in the Premier League era, with his range of passing and ability to sit deep and dictate play making him a highly sought-after player.

He would also give City options in terms of formation. He could play alongside Fernandinho and Toure in games against top European sides, giving City extra control in midfield, the area of the pitch where games are very often won and lost.

Cabaye is a beautiful player to watch. His touch and understanding of the game are world-class and he would be an excellent addition to this City squad.

Improving the City squad is difficult given the strength in depth they possess, with most of the players capable of improving them likely to be expensive and unobtainable in this window. Yohan Cabaye is one of the few players capable of improving them without costing an astronomical fee.

Scott Heppell/Associated Press


Rob Pollard is Bleacher Report's lead Manchester City correspondent and will be following the club from a Manchester base throughout the 2013-14 season. Follow him on Twitter here @TypicalCity.