The Newcastle newcomer has admitted he needs to improve the physical side of his game and could be advised to follow the example of Cristiano Ronaldo
If Newcastle United want to get the best out of new £12 million signing Remy Cabella, then the Frenchman could benefit from the same kind of fitness regime that helped transform Cristiano Ronaldo’s fortunes at Manchester United.
The 24-year-old has made a largely positive start to life at St James’ Park, but if he is to play a key role in helping Newcastle improve their fortunes in the Premier League over the next few years, then he will need to work on improving the physical side of his game.
At times prone to being muscled off the ball or going down too easily under an opposition challenge, Cabella, himself, has already admitted that some improvement is required.
“If I can put more physical impact in my game I know I can become better,” he told the Chronicle.
“When I joined the club I had a chat with the coach. I am fine here, I have great fun. I got what I wanted.”
Adjusting to the demands of playing in the Premier League is a common concern among new foreign arrivals and if Cabella is to make the transition from Ligue 1 to the English top-flight with ease, he could do well to follow the example of Ronaldo.
Arriving at Old Trafford in 2003 from Sporting Lisbon in a deal worth £12.24 million, Ronaldo struggled to adapt to life in the Premier League for much of his first three seasons at the club, with his overuse of tricks and flicks coupled with his penchant for going down too easily to win free-kicks proving a particular problem.
Yet over the summer of 2006 something evidently clicked, with the World Cup proving the catalyst for a transformation that saw Ronaldo focus more on improving his physical attributes.
Wayne Rooney recalled the change in extracts from his recent autobiography, which was serialised by the Daily Mirror:
“...before the 2006/07 season I notice something –different about him.
He’s bigger. He’s come back from the World Cup in -Germany muscly and beefed up, like he’s been on the weights all summer.
On the pitch in pre-season, he’s started cutting out the fancy tricks and flicks, and finding an end product to his mazy runs.”
The subsequent campaign proved to be something of a watershed moment for the Portuguese star, with Ronaldo scoring 17 goals in the Premier League – just one less than he had managed over the previous three seasons – and laying on countless more for his United teammates.
That year also saw CR7 celebrate the first of three Premier League titles, with a Champions League success following the season after.
While Cabella represents an altogether different kind of winger to Ronaldo, the Frenchman could benefit from a similar regime.
Newcastle United fans may have to wait a while to see the best of the Montpellier man, but it could well be worth it.