We watched the Lille game against Rennes yesterday, which ended in a 3-2 home victory for the French Champions, and French top scorer Moussa Sow scored a good hat trick for Lille – full name Lille Olympic Sports Club (LOSC).
Johan Cabaye - definitely joining Newcastle
And it was obvious when Johan Cabaye was taken off late in the game, that it was his last game for the club, although the TV commentators didn’t say he was going to a powerhouse club in England – Newcastle.
They didn’t say that.
And in a press conference following the game the successful Lille manager Rudi Garcia spilled the beans on his midfielder:
“Yohan announced yesterday to me first, then the whole group, that he has made his choice to join Newcastle. “
“It is a choice that I respect, although I would have liked him to stay with us.”
One or two of the French commentators seemed a bit surprised at the news, and we understand Newcastle have done a nifty deal in that they found out the skillful midfielder had a €5M release clause in his contract, so they paid around £4.3M for him.
For a player of his class that’s an excellent deal by Newcastle.
We learned a little bit more about the player yesterday – he can play in a number of different positions, but his penalty skills may not be everything they were made out to be, because he missed his last three penalties and Moussa Sow scored Lille’s one penalty yesterday.
It also looks like Gervinho is leaving the French club for around £10M, and Newcastle are in with a chance for this player.
The TV commentator yesterday said it would only be £10M for a player of his undoubted class, but that was because he only has one year left on his Lille contract.
If Newcastle can also get Gervinho, it would be terrific business for the club, as this lad not only scores goals, but he makes then too, and looks unselfish and a good team player – and very fast and the 24 year-old would get a lot of free kicks on the edge of the penalty box.
And Cabaye can smash those free kicks in for Newcastle.
By the way Gervinho is 24 today – his birthday.
The Ivory Coast International would be an exciting signing for Newcastle fans.
And if Newcastle could get Moussa Sow too, that would be even better, but he’s probably be very expensive right now.
Moussa finished the season as top goal scorer in France with 25 goals, by beating another Newcastle target Kevin Gameiro (who also scored yesterday too) to the golden boot by a couple of goals.
Moussa is also in his first season at Lille after joining them last summer from Rennes on a free transfer.
Cabaye is rumored to be going to sign a four year deal at Newcastle, and on Saturday the news was that it would be announced about the middle of next week.
It looks like Newcastle have got one player in the bag this summer, and when we’ve watched Johan he’s looked a very good technical player and he’s in the 26 man France squad that will play against Belarus in a Euro 2012 qualifier, and then the two friendlies against Poland and Ukraine.
Here is just one of the many UTube videos on Johan Cabaye.