Player Profile: Remy Cabella
Club: Newcastle United
PlayON Price: £9.7m
PlayON GW23: 2,010 pts
With a host of high profile suitors clamouring for his signature last summer, the purchase of Remy Cabella from Montpellier came as something of a coup for Newcastle United. The Frenchman struck 14 times and laid on a further 5 across 36 appearances last season, demonstrating his credentials as one of Ligue 1’s hottest properties. While the 24 year old hasn’t yet reached those same figures in his debut Premier League season, a recent surge in form gives him very good cause for consideration in Gameweek 24.
Though a very different type of player to ex-Newcastle compatriot Yohan Cabaye, Cabella was unquestionably brought in to boost Newcastle’s waning creativity and supply an auxiliary goal-threat following the former’s departure to PSG. While Cabella has shown flashes of his undoubted ability throughout the season, it’s only under the interim management of John Carver that the wide-man has turned in a succession of truly effective and consistent performances.
Gameweek 23 coincided with his first goal in black and white, as Newcastle cruised to a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Hull. Scoring 2,010 PlayON points in total, Cabella was ranked third among midfielders for that round of fixtures, with only Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla (2,900) and Mesut Ozil (2,250) outscoring him.
Cabella’s mountain-goat balance, pace and mazy dribbling skills have seen him succeed in 49 out of 79 duels in the last six fixtures, a success rate which puts him almost on par with league leaders Hazard and Sanchez in that timeframe.
In the demolition of Hull, Cabella completed all six of his attempted dribbles and was effectively the driving force behind the Toon victory, receiving 29 touches in the final third of field – Newcastle’s primary outlet. His speed of feet and thought saw him put his skill as an interceptor to use, pouncing on the lax Hull defence to unerringly rifle home.
With just the one assist this season, Cabella has largely flattered to deceive in terms of creativity. That said, the ruminations from the Newcastle camp suggest that Cabella has now been freed up of his more arduous defensive duties outlined by ex-coach Alan Pardew. If such rumours are indeed true, then there’s clear statistical evidence to back it up.
Over the past three Gamweeks, the Corsican has created 8 key chances for his side, with only Santi Cazorla (9) (again) laying on more goalscoring opportunities in that same period. The Frenchman’s all-round distribution has also stood out, with an 82.8% pass completion in the final third over those same three fixtures, outdoing the likes of Cazorla (81.6%), Silva (77%) and Coutinho (66.7%) to name a few.
Hitting a rich vein of form in recent weeks and breaking his duck will have granted Cabella a huge confidence boost. He can score goals and will score goals, his Ligue 1 pedigree can attest to that. Over the month of January, the Frenchman showed these very clear intentions, clocking 8 attempts on goal, 5th among midfielders with Di Maria (12), Eriksen (11) and Coutinho (10) among the company placing above him.
Cabella isn’t a cheap option at £9.7m, but his current purple patch demands a cash-in in this week or the next. Hosting an in-form Stoke at home on Sunday doesn’t appear a cut and dry victory by any means, but it is nonetheless a winnable and likely goal- driven game.
Stoke haven’t won at St. James Park since 2010, Remy Cabella could well ensure that that run goes on a little longer.