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Have Man City unearthed the final piece to their top four jigsaw?

Football FanCast columnist Tristan Mann wonders if the signing of Kolo Toure could be the final piece of Man City's top four jigsaw.

City have already bought Gareth Barry, Roque Santa Cruz, Carlos Tevez and Emmanuel Adebayor this summer, spending almost £80 million in the process. The new acquisitions will join a squad that already boast a number of talented players including Robinho, Stephen Ireland, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Nigel De Jong. 

But as much as City have a wealth of attacking riches in midfield and up front, undoubtedly what let them down last season was their shaky and inconsistent defence. The problem was partly rectified in the January transfer window with the purchase of Shay Given and Wayne Bridge, but even they couldn't inject confidence into a shaken Micah Richards, or the error prone Richard Dunne. 

Before last season Dunne had been the fans' player of the year for four consecutive seasons, until last term when mistakes and red cards were more frequent than the solid, commanding performances the City fans had come to expect. 

Although City have two promising young defenders in Richards and Nedum Onuoha, the capture of Toure could be the last piece in the jigsaw. The 28-year-old boasts huge Premier League experience, having been at the Gunners for seven seasons. He is also the type of no nonsense, safety first player that could re-instil much needed assurance into City's frail defence. 

After the failed courtship of John Terry, City have done well to capture a player of Toure's calibre. Admittedly he is not as good a central defender as Terry, but there will not have to be any bedding in time, and Toure is vastly experienced. 

If City do succeed in purchasing Toure, they will have increased the possibility of them finishing fourth next season for two reasons. 

For one Toure will provide the solid central defender that they sorely needed to compliment the vast array of attacking talent they have. 

And secondly, obtaining Toure will severely dent Arsenal, their biggest rivals for the fourth spot. With Toure gone, Arsenal will have William Gallas, who average at best last season, and new signing Thomas Vermaelen, and unknown quantity in English football. 

While anything higher than fourth spot is probably out of reach just yet for City, usurping Arsenal and breaking the monopoly of the ‘big four' will be a very realistic prospect should they capture Kolo Toure.

 

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Article title: Have Man City unearthed the final piece to their top four jigsaw?

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