As the Yohan Cabaye era came to end for both the player and Crystal Palace Football Club, I thought it would be fitting to put together a piece on together on one of the best midfielders we have seen pull on the red and blue.
The Frenchman joined Palace from French heavyweights Paris Saint Germain back in July 2015 for a club record fee. He truly was one of those marquee signings for clubs in their Premier League infancy made (before big spenders Fulham and Wolves this past summer) as a statement of intent to stay in England’s top division. This was definitely one of them.
There is no denying that Cabaye was a huge signing for the Eagles. His name alone is more than likely encouraged other top quality players to join the club such as the likes of Christian Benteke, Mamadou Sakho and Ruben Loftus-Cheek (albeit on loan) to name a few.
Where would Palace be without this experienced, big name players?
Rolling back the years, I remember Yohan playing a pivotal role against Palace in a Premier League match at Selhurst Park for Newcastle United. The Frenchman ran the game from start to finish and helped the visitors to a convincing victory. The late penalty encouraged me to leave a game before the final whistle for the very first time and I have not done so since.
It was at that point I knew that Yohan Cabaye was in a league of his own that evening.
The way he made the ball do the work, making it look so simple, caressing the ball to help it along of required, the way he ran and ran like a cog in a machine and the way he buried a penalty while wearing the red and blue – it will all be missed at Selhurst and all with a tinge of sadness.
Like those that have been and gone before, he left a mark. Not an indelible one as he never reached the heights shown at Newcastle but he became a real crowd favourite. To me, the signing of Cabaye had the same effect as the addition of Atillio Lombardo had on Palace fans in the nineties.
New signing Max Meyer who has taken Cabaye’s number seven shirt and has fairly big boots to fill but there is no doubt that the German is up to the challenge. Will he become a crowd favourite like Cabaye? Who knows, only time will tell.
Merci pour votre service Yohan, bonne chance pour l’avenir!