As the miles continue to tot up on Steven Gerrard’s clock, Brendan Rodgers is casting his eye over an array of prospective new models to replace his talisman long-term and it’s believed that French playmaker Yohan Cabaye is his primary target.
Liverpool’s 2-0 defeat at Arsenal last time out has seen their Premier League title odds bulk up to 9/1, though their top four price remains a picture of health at 5/4.
The form of lynchpin Gerrard is largely responsible for the Reds’ upturn in fortunes and the proposed arrival of Cabaye would further bolster their top four claims.
His 12 goals and nine assists in 63 Premier League starts bears resemblance to Gerrard’s attacking contribution.
Liverpool’s captain has troubled the scorers 16 times in the past three seasons, as well as creating 13 more. Playing in a superior side, it would not be unreasonable to expect the Frenchman to improve his already respectable tallies across the same period.
His intent going forward and incisive passing ability is what brought him to the intention of the country’s biggest clubs, with Arsenal failing to secure his services in the summer, having had a £10m bid rebuffed.
Exquisite set piece delivery.
Cabaye’s prowess over a dead ball was exemplified when he swung a beauty over for Yoan Gouffran to nod Newcastle into the lead against Chelsea last time out and, when Gerrard decides to call it quits, this is a big thing Liverpool will miss.
A player capable of striking set plays from all over the pitch will be essential criteria for his successor to suffice and the Magpies man certainly checks that box.
Thrives in ‘big fish’ situations.
As he did when running Lille’s title-winning engine room, Cabaye has flourished under the pressure of being the Tynesiders’ star man.
He’s the player who the team turns to when they need something to happen and has produced a consistently high level of performance under these circumstances, much like Gerrard has done throughout his entire Liverpool career.
The man tasked with replacing him would ideally be accustomed to such a weight on his shoulders; it’s something that could cause an unproven youngster all kinds of trouble.
This factor is arguably the key point determining why Cabaye is perfect for Liverpool.