When Newcastle United signed Remy Cabella in the summer, it appeared they were getting an attacking midfielder with an eye for goal and the ability to create chances for others. But what fans of the Magpies may not have thought they were getting was a player who could mix it with the best of them in the Premier League.
It is fair to say the 24-year-old has taken time to settle at St James' Park, and one fine performance does not make a great player. But at the weekend, for all his attacking attributes, it was another statistic that really stood out - the fact that he won a tremendous 22 duels against the league leaders.
Time and again Cabella went at his opponents, and while he lost 13 he won 22, and yes, that figure does bear repeating.
To put it into some kind of contrast, Ayoze Perez and Moussa Sissoko both lost 12 duels against Chelsea, but they won only four between them, while Cabella was head and shoulders above his teammates in an area that showed he was not afraid to take on an opponent...time and again.
|Won Tackle||Duel Won||Duel Lost||Interception Won||Mins Played|
Cabella also won five tackles and made two interceptions, suggesting Newcastle are starting to see a player who not only offers an attacking threat but who will get physical in a league when such a thing is crucial for success.
The Frenchman still has a lot to prove, but he is heading in the right direction, and if he can continue on this trajectory next season could see Newcastle really benefiting from a player who has a bit of everything in his proverbial locker.