When Newcastle United signed Remy Cabella from Montpellier last summer it appeared they had bought a player to elevate them to the next level – a creative catalyst that could both score and assist.
But when the Magpies took to the field for their biggest match in years – their potentially must-win game against West Ham United last weekend – Cabella had to make do with a place on the bench, and that is where he stayed.
That decision from Newcastle manager John Carver shows how far Cabella has fallen since signing on a six-year deal back in July.
That came after the Frenchman had scored 14 goals and set up eight more in his final season in Ligue 1.
With some absolute beauties included in that list, it seemed Newcastle had made one of the signings of the summer; but a year on and Cabella has managed just one goal and two assists in 34 appearances.
The Cabella of last season would have been one of the first names on the team-sheet for the clash with West Ham. But not now, with Carver putting his faith – and Newcastle’s Premier League future – in the hands of 11 others.
It worked, with goals from Moussa Sissoko and Jonas Gutierrez sealing a 2-0 home win with Hull failing to get the requisite victory against Manchester United anyway.
But Carver’s team selection speaks volumes for how Cabella has failed to live up to his reputation, and next season will be a huge one in his career.
At 25, and with talent in abundance, he should be approaching his peak; but when he cannot even be relied upon to save the day when he was signed for such occasions, what chance him turning things around now?