Liverpool transfer rumour analysis: What could Yohan Cabaye bring to Anfield?

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Should Brendan Rodgers move heaven and earth to secure Cabaye in January…?

Former Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye is not getting the minutes his undeniable talent deserves at PSG right now…

The classy midfielder has yet to make a Champions League start for the Ligue 1 champions, and has been consistently rotated in the domestic competition as well.

As a result, the 27-year-old is disenchanted, and could seek a move back to the Premier League as early as January, reckons respected BeIN Sports commentator Matt Spiro…

Most Liverpool fans would be pretty excited about the potential arrival of Cabaye, so we’ve taken the time to analyse what the midfielder could bring to Anfield.

Where would he play?

Cabaye prefers to play as a creative midfielder in a modern 4-3-3 formation. He acts as a deep-lying playmaker, and essentially plays ahead of a defensive anchorman, and alongside a more mobile box-to-box midfielder. When Cabaye is selected for PSG, he is charged with linking midfield and attack, while Thiago Motta or Marco Verratti anchor the side, and Blaise Matuidi provides tackles, interceptions and forward runs. For the Reds, Cabaye would slot into Rodgers’ three man midfield perfectly. With Steven Gerrard anchoring the side and Jordan Henderson providing the energy, Cabaye would inject some much needed guile and composure to the centre of the park.

Cabaye’s strengths…

Cabaye is technically superb. He can control the ball in tight spaces, and recycle possession when under pressure. The Frenchman can zip sharp passes into the feet, or ahead of attackers, and spray more elegant longer balls from the centre circle. What’s more, he delivers a wicked set-piece. Although he’d have to battle Gerrard for freekick duty, Cabaye regularly scored wonderful set-pieces for Newcastle during his impressive stint in England. Finally, he has the capability to bag jaw-dropping goals, which made him a fan favourite on Tyneside.

Cabaye’s weaknesses…

His concentration is often called into question. If Cabaye starts badly, his confidence is visibly affected, and he can often continue to make mistakes and try over ambitious passes to resurrect his own performance. He rarely wins back possession, and isn’t used to the all-out pressing game he’d need to develop if he were to sign for the Reds.

Cabaye’s statistics…

Since signing for PSG, he’s completed a very impressive 89% of his passes – better than any Liverpool player this season. During the 2013/14 season with Newcastle he scored seven goals before Christmas, but has only found the back of the net twice for the French. He would relish the added creative and goalscoring responsibility at Liverpool, and the chance to play slightly further forward.

(Courtesy of WhoScored)

What would he add to the starting XI?

Class, and lots of it. While Coutinho has Cabaye’s ability (arguably even more), his current issues with consistency is causing the side a problem. The Brazilian’s versatility (Rodgers often deploys him out wide) is arguably also holding him back – whereas Cabaye can only play centrally. The Frenchman is in his prime, whereas Liverpool’s current midfielders are either under 25, or past their best – like Gerrard and Lucas. Cabaye oozes composure on the ball, and he could easily help Liverpool maintain possession, while providing a creative spark when given the ball in the final third, too.

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