A transfer rumour that’s sure to exist until the day the player actually signs for the club, Paris Saint-Germain’s Yohan Cabaye has once again been linked with a move to Arsenal.
The Sunday Mirror say the French playmaker is a £10m summer target for Arsene Wenger – whose side can be backed at 4/5 to win the FA Cup for a second successive season – despite being an entirely unsuitable signing.
With Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil on board, the Gunners are flush for players capable of unlocking opposition defences.
Their midfield does need bolstering, but not with the qualities Cabaye possesses.
There are plenty of the 29-year-old’s Ligue 1 adversaries, however, who could plug the holes in question, three of which are identified below.
The Caen battering ram has been linked with a summer move to Southampton, who liken his all-action style to that of Kenyan powerhouse Victor Wanyama.
Thought to be valued at around £5m, no player operating in the top division of French football has averaged more tackles per match than the 24-year-old.
His 4.9 mean is someway clear of the current silver medallist, though a passing accuracy of just 78.5% may deter possession-obsessed Wenger.
Despite this, he has still created four league goals this term, registering another two for himself.
The lynchpin in a resurgent Lyon midfield, Gonalons is currently behind Kante in the tackles per match stakes, though he is the much more well-rounded player of the two.
He intercepts an average of 2.8 of the opposition’s passes per match, in addition to relieving them of possession 4.4 times.
On top of this, he’s capable in the air, winning 2.2 aerial duels on average.
An expert in retrieving the ball, Gonalons also knows how to look after it, finding a teammate with 88.8% of his passes, which is especially impressive given he attempts just shy of 60 in a typical Ligue 1 outing.
The man responsible for keeping Cabaye out of the PSG side boasts all the creative qualities of his compatriot, but as he exemplified in Les Parisiens’ recent Champions League success away at Chelsea, he is also a disciplined and committed defender when called upon.
A staggering 91.2% of his Ligue 1 passes have found their mark this term, with five of them leading directly to goals.
On average, he’ll attempt 87 passes per match.
The fact that only 1.2 are considered ‘key’ by the WhoScored.com stats boffins is explained by the deep-lying position he assumes in the PSG midfield and an average of three tackles per match in Ligue 1 and the Champions League suggests he’s more than able to play the anchorman role at Arsenal.