Up in the cooler airs of northern England, many Newcastle United fans will have been hoping to awake to news that French striker Loic Remy had re-signed for the Magpies – on a permanent deal. Instead it’s another French ‘Remy’ who will be entertaining them on the pitch this season – Remy Cabella.
Is Cabella the answer to all of Newcastle’s problems?
First lets have a look at Newcastle’s problem area’s where Newcastle need to strengthen for Season 2014/15. The loss of Yohan Cabaye to PSG in the January transfer window was a loss that put the brakes on Newcastle’s season. The fact that Cabaye finished second top scorer of the season for them with 7 goals, behind on loan Loic Remy (14 goals), despite leaving the club mid-season speaks volumes to the lack of cutting edge in the rest of the squad. Void of Cabaye & Remy, the remainder of the squad scored only 20 goals all season. With Cabaye gone & Loic Remy injured for much of the run in, Newcastle finished their last 10 games of the season with 8 Losses & 2 Wins.
It wasn’t all doom & gloom though, Newcastle managed impressive wins against Chelsea & Manchester United, and achieved safety from relegation without any fuss early in the years. With European football out of reach, a below par ‘nothing to play for’ home stretch is not all that surprising. Though it would have been the perfect time for some of their squad players to really stand up and make a name for themselves.
Newcastle are in desperate need of attacking creativity & a center forward who know how to score goals.
So who have they got in signing Remy Cabella?
Cabella joins Newcastle from Montpellier in the French Ligue 1, a hit-and-miss hunting ground for Newcastle signings so far. But in Cabella they have got themselves an attacking midfielder with a lot of quality, flair and a good work ethithic. Cabella was the standout performer for Montpellier this season, in what can only be described as a very average squad. In 37 appearances last season he banged in 14 goals (the same amount as striker Bafétimbi Gomis who has signed for Swansea), contributed 7 assists and finished with 9 man of the match accolades. He was very much a man carrying a team – scoring or setting up almost half of Montpelier’s goals. Fans of the game Fifa14 might recognise Cabella who was also included in the FUT Ligue 1 Team of the Season as well as Goal.com’s Ligue 1 Team of the Season. Cabella has also been at the Fifa World Cup in the French squad, but didn’t make an appearance. I’m sure Alan Pardew would be more than happy with a similar return next season.
The Newcastle-Cabella deal had been on-again/off-again for quite some time, having identified him as the man to fill the void left by Yohan Cabaye. Cabella is a pacey attacking midfielder who can play either tucked in behind a striker or out wide on the wings. Given that Newcastle have already signed Ajax Captain Siem de Jong, who’s preferred position is in the number 10 role, we can most likely expect to see Cabella deployed on one of the flanks.
Newcastle Manager Alan Pardew can’t wait to see his two new attacking midfielders in action, stating “He (Cabella) is a player who I am sure will excite our fans. He has flair, hard work and commitment and is going to bring a talent, energy and quality to St James’ Park that our supporters will enjoy. Rémy has great ideas when the ball comes to him and along with Siem de Jong is going to improve an area where we definitely needed some help.”
With Siem de Jong & Cabella adding creativity to their attack, if Newcastle do manage to sign the other Remy, Loic, on a permanent deals – or tie up a contract for an out-and-out goal scoring striker (such as Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette) – then we could have fireworks on the field at St James’ Park this season. Remy Cabella looks the real deal – ticking one of Newcastle’s two boxing for strengthening over the summer.
Fantasy League players know just how much a hit Yohan Cabaye was, so we wait with eagerness to see if Newcastle can find that final piece of the puzzle, to get the most out of Remy Cabella’s talent.
Newcastle start their pre-season on Tuesday July 15th with an away match against Oldham Athletic. Siem de Jong may well get a first run out there.
Read the Newcastle Team Analysis