Yohan Cabaye became one of Newcastle United’s key players following his arrival from Ligue 1 side Lille back in 2011 and was inspirational in helping the club finish fifth in the 2011/12 Premier League season.
The Frenchman went from strength to strength before attracting interest from Arsenal (via BBC Sport) and, while a move to the Gunners never materialised, it was not long until Paris Saint-Germain came knocking with an offer Newcastle could not refuse.
Unfortunately for Cabaye, however, his dream move to the French giants did not go to plan and it was not long until he was back in England.
The 32-year-old joined Crystal Palace in the summer of 2015 to reunite with his former boss at Newcastle, Alan Pardew, who was now in the Selhurst Park dugout in a transfer no Crystal Palace supporter saw coming.
Other than Cabaye’s Newcastle connection to Pardew, it was hard to see what motives the midfielder had to join Crystal Palace.
Regular game time would have been the obvious appeal to £9m-rated (via Transfermarkt) Cabaye after finding himself on the fringes at PSG. However, a player of his quality would not have gone into that summer with the south London club as his only viable option.
Technically, Cabaye had established himself as one of the best midfielders in the Premier League during his time at Newcastle. Despite it not working out in the end, it was not surprising to see PSG go all out for him.
A France international who possessed excellent vision, a great passing range and immense quality from dead-ball situations, Cabaye — during his prime — would have improved most sides in Europe.
With that in mind, Cabaye was truly a coup for Crystal Palace and the calibre of player the Eagles should try to sign more often.
His last season at Selhurst Park was nowhere near as strong as his first two but, nevertheless, the south London club need more individuals of his technical ability if they are to progress and show the ambition that someone such as talisman Wilfried Zaha will be demanding.
Now at UAE side Al-Nasr, Cabaye will look back with the feeling that maybe he should have accomplished more. His time at Crystal Palace, though, is a period in his career he can be pleased with.
After a difficult spell at PSG, Cabaye was able to get things up and running again at Selhurst Park. And from the Eagles’ point of view, it was evidence that the club have the tools to bring in players of genuine quality.