There’s a simple personal reason why Newcastle United’s Yohan Cabaye may have made himself unbuyable in the eyes of many teams, sad as it may be.
Yohan Cabaye has openly talked about his battle against depression, which is common in many different professional sports where individuals are competing at a high level constantly.
Cabaye remains one of Newcastle’s most important players in terms of his role in the team and the work he does away from the pitch. Those are things that have attracted the interest of some very big sides over the last couple of months.
However, if he was harbouring hopes of a move to a team like Manchester United at the end of the season, he may have just shot himself in the foot by being so open against an illness which affects millions of people around the world.
It’s admirable that he’s happy to talk about his depression but what that says to other sides is that it could flare up at any time, which is dangerous for that team when they look at him as an investment.
It's a sad state of affairs, but the cold hard truth is that clubs could be put off signing him as a result of this. Some may be unworried, but others could take a backwards step- All which emphasises why he is probably best off staying in the surroundings he knows well and has been flourishing at, at Newcaste.
Obviously if depression is managed in the right way, then it doesn’t become a problem but there have been plenty of examples in sport when it’s gone the other way and has turned into a real issue.
The risk for any side that may have wanted to buy Cabaye is the possibility that he’ll not be able to play in big matches, because he’s suffering mentally to the point where he can’t focus or give his best in a match.
He could be in peak physical condition but because his mind isn’t right, playing him may mean he’ll make poor decisions in a game which could go a long way to costing that side a match.
There have even been a couple of examples with the England cricket team in the recent past where players have had to fly back to England in the middle of overseas tours, because they can’t effectively give their best for the side.
He’s admitted that he’s on top of the problem and managing it well, but there is now always going to be that lingering risk. It’s a credit to Alan Pardew that Newcastle seem to have stayed well on top of it as to now.
It’s also lucky for Newcastle that the Frenchman has been able to reach out to high profile sports stars around him - and one's less so, who have suffered the same problems and are able to help him through bad spells.
Newcastle and their fans won’t complain one little bit if this is the reason he stays at the club, they will want it to be because of his desire and commitment to Newcastle, but either way they retain one of, if not, their best player.
Newcastle fans, what do you make of Cabaye’s comments?
image: © jack_pickard