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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 their season

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

The Frenchman was the subject of a £10 million 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.

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"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 per cent yet.

"We all know that, if someone comes along and offers you substantially more money to join another organisation, 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 fanbase."

Cabaye refused to play for the Magpies after Arsenal made their approach, but, after being clapped off the field when substituted against Aston Villa, Pardew feels Cabaye will win the fans over in the coming weeks.

"It was nice to see [the applause]," Pardew told the Newcastle Evening Chronicle.

"It was important for Yohan more than anybody. The fans understand what he did. We do not all have to agree it was the right thing, but we all have to move on in life.

"There is a time to forgive and forget, and his performance at Villa will go some way to winning the fans back. I am not sure he has won everybody back with that performance, but I think over the coming weeks he will."

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