Yohan Cabaye has been thrown straight into the Paris Saint-Germain squad to face Bordeaux tonight after completing his £19m move from Newcastle United on Wednesday.
The 28-year-old was presented to the assembled media before catching up with some much needed sleep ahead of his first training session at Camp des Loges. He received a warm welcome on Thursday, particularly from the French contingent – Blaise Matuidi especially seemed thrilled to be joined by his Les Bleus teammate.
He stands a very good chance to make his full debut. Marco Verratti is out due to suspension, opening up one of those three central midfield spots. Laurent Blanc however may be tempted to play it safe by utilising Javier Pastore in that position before bringing Cabaye on after the hour mark. Of course this entirely depends on the unfolding of the 90 but it is inevitable the new man will make his Parisien bow at some point.
His arrival could not have come at a better time either. Blanc confirmed Adrien Rabiot’s progress is coming along nicely and should be back ahead of schedule which would give him more options. Also, as we approach February the fixture list is mightily congested. The Coupe de la Ligue semi-final against Nantes is next Tuesday and then the Champions League recommences two weeks later with a trip to Germany booked. But, the biggest game of the season is sandwiched in between that against Monaco at the Stade Louis II. It is so important to pick up a victory tonight to keep a healthy gap between ourselves and the seven times winners of Ligue 1 going into that exhilarating clash.
First and foremost, we are up against a FCGB side that ended a four game losing streak against Saint-Etienne last weekend with an impressive 2-0 win. That was more like the form they showed just before the winter break, notching up five victories in seven games.
Remarkably, this will be our fourth meeting this season. We have been victorious in all three prior to tonight, most recently that impressive 3-1 at the Stade Chaban-Delmas where Pastore ran the game and Rabiot netted his first goal of the season.
Finally, I gave special praise to the Newcastle United fans on Twitter yesterday. They have been absolutely superb in their reaction to Cabaye leaving their fantastic club by showing their respect and gratitude towards him. Below are just some of the tweets from the Toon Army that echo that. Top club, top fans! Cabaye was lucky to play for them.