Yohan Cabaye Is a Missing Dimension Manchester United Desperately Need

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistJanuary 24, 2014

Manchester United's Antonio Valencia, left, vies for the ball with Newcastle United's Yohan Cabaye, right, during their English Premier League soccer match at the Sports Direct Arena, Newcastle, England, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)
SCOTT HEPPELL/Associated Press

You can't always get what you want, but you might find you get what you need. 

As Juan Mata's transfer to Manchester United reaches its organic conclusion, per David Bond and Ben Smith of BBC Sport, thoughts turn towards whether David Moyes' spending is over for this window. 

Jon Super/Associated Press

The defeat to Sunderland in the League Cup semi-final was emotionally the lowest point of the season for United in what has been a continually crippling experience for Moyes and his staff, since the advent of their tenure.

However, with failure comes the realisation that things need to change, and fast. 

The Metro's Danny Griffiths reports that Newcastle United's Johan Cabaye is to be the subject of a proposed £21 million bid from French giants, Paris Saint-Germain, but that, due to the team's immense wealth and current squad, the player might favour a move to the Red Devils or Arsenal, where his opportunities to play would be greater. 

Cabaye is an interesting subject, but personally I am not a huge fan of his.

His performance levels for a resurgent Newcastle cannot be ignored, however, and he deserves great credit. 

His seven goals in 19 league appearances are certainly impressive, per Squawka, and show how strong his form has been this campaign. 

His levels of consistency in the middle of the park are what United are starved of. 

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19:  Yohan Cabaye of Newcastle United shoots towards goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Liverpool at St James' Park on October 19, 2013 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.  (Photo
Julian Finney/Getty Images

If Mata is to provide the creativity that United fans have craved to see at Old Trafford for some time, then the next vacancy to fill is that of a genuine central midfielder.

The champions need someone who can fulfill the criteria of being a box-to-box operator, and Cabaye ticks that box.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 13:  Samir Nasri of Arsenal competes with Darren Fletcher (R) and Michael Carrick of Manchester United during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford on December 13, 2010 in Ma
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

At 28 years old, the French international is no spring chicken, but he is at the peak of his powers as things stand and would immeasurably improve United's core.

The Sunderland defeat showed that, despite their functional efficiency, Darren Fletcher and Michael Carrick cannot take this team forward.

Both can be used to utilise their strengths, but it is unfair to pit them against more mobile midfielders.

Cabaye, like Mata, would add some real, tangibly measured technical quality to the squad. The fact United took five very unconvincing penalties on Wednesday night—missing four—shows the skills gap that exists at present.  

Cabaye's purchase would help correct this. 

TURIN, ITALY - JANUARY 18:  Arturo Vidal of Juventus celebrates scoring the first goal during the Serie A match between Juventus and UC Sampdoria at Juventus Arena on January 18, 2014 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

He might not be an Arturo Vidal, or a similar "dream" purchase, but the Frenchman could become an essential cog for Moyes' wheel.

At a price of over £20 million, there would no doubt be a premium being paid for his services, but the Glazers cannot be as fussy as they have been in the past. 

During the Ferguson era they could focus on "value" signings, but now a new approach is needed to maintain success.

Their manager needs their support, and he needs it in this window. 

Cabaye may not be the midfielder every Manchester United fan wants, but he might be the midfielder that David Moyes needs. 


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