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Uncertainty over the Frenchman's future on Tyneside was put to rest after Arsenal pulled out of a move for the midfielder and now his manager says that he is key to the season.

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew believes that Yohan Cabaye is his side's equivalent of Wayne Rooney.

The Frenchman was the subject of a 10 million pound bid from Arsenal over the summer and was set on a move to the Emirates Stadium but the Magpies held firm and the 52-year-old expects him to play a key role at St James's Park.

"Yohan is just as important to us as Rooney is to Manchester United," Pardew told the press after Cabaye featured from the start in Saturday's 2-1 win over Aston Villa. "He's a player who carries the heartbeat and the rhythm of the team. There are not many players who can do that and there were moments when he did it here but he will get better because he isn't 100 percent yet.

"We all know that, if someone comes along and offers you substantially more money to join another organization, it can turn your head - and it did turn Yohan's head. I would not say he's perfect in what he did but his attitude has been perfect since the transfer window shut. It was nice the fans gave him a good reception when he came off. He'll sleep better knowing he has the backing of the team, the manager and a huge part of the fan base."

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