Creative midfielder Yohan Cabaye left Newcastle just over two years ago in January 2014 for £20M to PSG and as is usual with these January deals we did not bother to replace him.
His departure left Newcastle with no creative spark in midfield that season and we ended the season losing seven of our last eight league games.
And that had an impact on the next season too, when we picked up just four draws in our first seven games and Alan Pardew was under tremendous pressure.
Yohan Cabaye – took two years to replace him
So when you think of how much we have struggled in the last two years, maybe it was because we didn´t bother replacing Yohan until last month, when we brought in Jonjo Shelvey – who has quickly made a huge difference to how the team plays.
Our central midfield had consisted of any two from Vurnon Anita, Cheick Tiote and Jack Colback – and none of those players are very creative or attacking midfielders.
It´s another sign of how badly the club has been run these last few years and it’s still going on today, when we amazingly failed to strengthen the defense last month.
And we wont even mention the worry we have in case Rob Elliot gets injured – we supposel Newcastle are just hoping for the best – which seems to be one of their management principles.
Moussa Sissoko has said he thinks Jonjo can finally be the replacement for Yohan Cabaye:
“I really believe Jonjo is the replacement for Cabaye two years after,” “Jonjo, like Yohan, is a very good player. He sees the game so easily and delivers great balls.”
“For me, he is the same style as Yohan and the same qualities so for me he is an excellent signing for us.
“He has played four games for us and you can see what he brings to the team. It has to be good for us. Now we have to grow with him, make sure we make the most of his vision and his range of passing to pick up as many points as we can between now and the end of the season.”
“When we lost Yohan, the club did not bring in another player like him. There was a gap. We still had good players like Cheick and Jack, but they are very different styles. They were not like Yohan,” said Sissoko.
“With Jonjo, he is the perfect style for us because he fits in so well. Players like myself and Gigi Wijnaldum like to go forward and he can pick us out so easily. It makes such a difference and we must feed off him.
“It worked against West Brom with Jonjo spotting Mitro and it will happen again. He has already become a very important member of this team because he is different.”
“Now we must try to pick up a result at Chelsea. That’s three good home performances in a row we have had.”
Jonjo looks a great signing for us and in a report yesterday by the CIES Football Observatory in Switzerland, it looks like he´s been valued at almost twice the £12M we paid for him.
He´s down as the best signing made in the January transfer window, but we´d like to see more from him at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, which will be necessary if we have any chance of picking up anything in our next game.