Jim Daly, the editor of Crystal Palace fanzine Five Year Plan, believes the club have made a strong statement of intent with the signing of Yohan Cabaye and that it signals the start of a new era at Selhurst Park.
The former Newcastle United midfielder penned a three-year deal on Friday after Palace agreed a club-record fee with Paris Saint-Germain.
Cabaye will link up with Alan Pardew again after working together at St James’ Park, the France international opting for a return to the Premier League after struggling for regular first-team football at the Ligue 1 champions.
Palace’s fortunes improved in the second half of last season following the arrival of Pardew, the club’s former player lifting them to a top 10-finish in May, but Daly believes the addition of Cabaye takes them to the next level.
“We’re signing a world-class player, I don’t think that’s in doubt at all. Cabaye is one of the best midfielders in the world,” Daly told Perform. “And he’s coming to Palace, which is absolutely crazy.
“He’s turning down Champions League football to come and play for Palace. He wants to get back in that France team so he obviously came here to play games, he’s come here because Pardew is here and they have a good relationship, but really for us [the fans] I guess it’s a huge statement of intent from Palace.
“We’ve improved over the past two years bit by bit, we’ve had better league positions, we’ve lost a manager and got a better manager, we’ve made better signings in the transfer windows and now this.
“It is a huge step for us to say ‘we’re not a yo-yo team anymore, we are deadly serious about improving on the top 10’.
“So it’s very exciting, it feels a bit like the end of the old Palace and the start of the new one. This is the start of our new life, something really exciting is happened and it’s wonderful to be a part of it.”
Where Cabaye will fit in Pardew’s side remains to be seen with the likes of Mile Jedinak, James McArthur and Joe Ledley all established at the club.
However, Daly envisages the 29-year-old taking a different role depending on who Palace are playing, such is his talent.
He added: “I would hope Palace don’t try and fit around Cabaye, I hope they stick to the formation they’ve been playing because it really suits this group of players, suits the way they play, their attitude, it works for Palace.
“I don’t I think it will be straightforward where Cabaye plays. I think Cabaye will play depending on the opposition. I think we’ll see Cabaye sometimes playing in that number 10 role, and sometimes playing a bit deeper, so I don’t think it’s set in stone and as a result the other midfielders will revolve around him.”
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