ALAN Pardew never had any doubt Newcastle United’s Yohan Cabaye would take to the Premier League.
The midfielder was outstanding in last weekend’s 3-0 win over Stoke City.
Cabaye scored two goals and set up another for Papiss Demba Cisse, the result taking the club into the top four.
The 26-year-old’s performance underlined his importance to Pardew’s new-look team.
Cabaye joined last summer from French double winners Lille, and the fact last season’s captain Kevin Nolan hasn’t been missed says a lot about his contribution to the cause.
Technically-gifted with an eye for a pass and a goal, Cabaye has been a revelation at St James’s Park.
Newcastle exploited a release clause in his contract to sign him for a bargain fee, understood to be under £5m.
And Pardew was never in any doubt he had the quality – and physical stature – to cope with the rigours of English football.
“He won the double in France,” Pardew told the Gazette.
“When you see French football, you’ve got to understand it’s a terrific level.
“To win the league and cup double, and you’re a flair player in a team like that, it must set out the right message that he could probably cope with this division. He’s been outstanding.”
Cabaye, Cisse and Hatem Ben Arfa have come to the fore in United’s six-game winning streak. However, Demba Ba went another game without a goal, his last having come against Aston Villa at St James’s Park in February.
“It was Cabaye’s day, and last week was Hatem’s day,” said Pardew. “Before that, it was Cisse’s day. I’m still waiting for Demba’s day, and I don’t think that’s far away.”