YOHAN Cabaye’s head is no longer turned after a summer of speculation about his future.
The midfielder has now “got his head down” at Newcastle United, according to manager Alan Pardew.
Cabaye – who had been keen on a summer move to Arsenal – is now in contention to start Saturday’s game at Aston Villa.
“He’s been terrific, and he’s just got his head down,” Pardew said.
Cabaye didn’t feature in the club’s opening three games this season after Arsenal had a £10m bid rejected for him.
Pardew felt his “head had been turned” by the offer, which wasn’t followed up by an improved bid. Other suitors – including Paris Saint-Germain – didn’t make a move for Cabaye.
And the 27-year-old remained a Newcastle player after the transfer deadline passed on September 2.
Cabaye – who made a belated seasonal debut in the 1-0 win over Fulham the weekend before last amid boos from some fans – was left out of the last France squad by coach Didier Deschamps before of his non-involvement at United.
Pardew believes Cabaye – whose wife has just had a baby – is now “settled” at Newcastle, and ready to stake his claims for club and country ahead of next summer’s World Cup finals in Brazil.
“Loic Remy has had a good week, and Yohan stayed behind and has had a full week here,” said Pardew.
“He’s been able to get a lot of work done, and his wife has just had a baby too.
“Yohan has just got on with his work and settled down. He’s getting on with the job in hand.”
Cabaye, signed from Lille two years ago, impressed at Villa Park the season before last, when Newcastle came from behind to claim a 1-1 draw.
And Pardew’s hoping for more of the same from Cabaye if he is selected to start against Paul Lambert’s side.
“He changed the game that day in one of his early appearances,” said Pardew.
“He helped us get the ball down and play, and destroyed Aston Villa with some great runs.”