Why Southampton should target free-agent Yohan Cabaye to improve the team
Southampton and manager Ralph Hasenhuttl failed to make an impact in the January transfer window and while the Saints did let a few stars go, they failed to bring players in.
However, there are a few options that the Saints can target to help strengthen their midfield despite the fact that the January window has closed. Free agents are the way to go and there are more than a few options that Hasenhuttl can target.
However, among Yaya Toure, Patrice Evra, Giuseppe Rossi, Ibrahim Afellay and many others, Southampton’s main target should be Yohan Cabaye. The 33-year-old is a free agent after being released by UAE side Al Nasr (according to the Chronicle) despite signing for them in summer on a two-year contract.
The UAE side has struggled this season and with the appointment of a new coach, they have let go of three foreign stars including Cabaye.
The 33-year-old was once considered to be among Newcastle United and even Crystal Palace’s best players but time saw his skills change and agility deteriorate. However, despite that, there are a few players as useful as Yohan Cabaye, especially in a relegation fight.
A central midfielder by trade, Cabaye adapted to his age by going a little deeper to transform into a deep-lying playmaker and a decent defender.
For Southampton, it’s his creative qualities that they need, with the Saints struggling to create or score goals this season. While former RB Leipzig manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has brought about a change to the St. Mary’s side, they still lack creativity in the final third.
But that’s exactly what Cabaye excelled at during his tenure in the Premier League, and with the South coast club on the road to another relegation scrap, the 33-year old’s experience will come handy.
However, given his age, the Frenchman won’t be a long-term signing but his composure, set-piece abilities and talent to find players from anywhere will be key to Southampton going forward. In the long run, the club will have to add another star to eventually replace Yohan Cabaye but at the moment, there are few players who can do what he can.
The 33-year-old will be match-fit and should easily slip into Hasenhuttl’s side, and with the loss of Steven Davis, the Saints need an experienced star to help them move forward.