Premier League newcomers Cardiff City have agreed a €12M fee with Toulouse for defensive midfielder Etienne Capoue, however the player is yet to be convinced by the Welsh club. He has held contract talks, but he may be waiting for a high profile team to match the bid made by Malky Mackay. The 25-year-old is very highly rated in France so it would be a coup if he moved to Wales, there is other interest from Atletico Madrid and Fiorentina, with the former having money left over from Falcao’s departure. Although neither of these teams have made a firm offer for the French International.
The player has played 174 matches for Toulouse scoring 13 goals. Last season was successful for the Frenchman as he started 34 matches in Ligue 1 while scoring 7 goals, which is an excellent for a defensive midfielder. He averaged 1.3 shots per game which proves he has an eye for goal. The Toulouse player assisted three times, while he only managed a decent pass success rate of 80.8%. Capoue is also strong in the air as he was successful in 3.5 aerial duels per game. Furthermore he made 2.6 winning tackles on average per game, and another 2.6 interceptions.
The Cardiff target likes to play long balls which was shown last season as he played 7 accurate long balls each game. In addition the midfielder passed 63.9 times in a game on average showing that he liked to get involved in the play for Toulouse. His main strengths are that he is a good tackler, interceptor and he wins many aerial duels in attacking situations. He likes to play long balls and he enjoys a tackle. In many ways he is similar to Newcastle play-maker Yohan Cabaye.
The stalling from Capoue is understandable considering he has been linked to Champions League clubs in Atletico Madrid and Arsenal in the past year, so the player may see a move to Cardiff as beneath him. On the other hand he would be playing Premier League football every week which will help him massively in World Cup year as he seeks to add to his 5 caps for France. He may look at former team-mate Moussa Sissoko who has made the move to England successfully and see the Premier League as a good destination for him. Plus if the 25-year-old produces in England, it will alert bigger clubs so a move to Wales could be seen as a stepping stone.
If Cardiff do manage to sign the Toulouse play-maker then it will be a huge coup similar to Southampton last season who landed Gaston Ramirez after the Uruguayan was linked to higher profile clubs. After the signings of Steven Caulker, Andreas Cornelius, Simon Moore and John Brayford already, it shows that the Welsh club is spending wisely to acquire a Premier League squad. They have also been linked to Peter Odemwingie who would provide Premier League experience and goals to a side who didn’t have a single player score more than 10 goals last season.
They will need to address that if they are to stay up in the Premier League as teams without a goalscorer normally go down. Cardiff have learned from the demise of QPR as their money isn’t being thrown around at average mercenaries but young hungry players from both England and abroad.
Capoue Stats via WhoScored