Despite landing himself several impressive pieces of silverware during his current stint at the Etihad, and subsequently proving an influential figure behind Manchester City’s recent success in the modern Premier League era – Yaya Toure has seemingly always felt the cold winds of criticism come his way in the English top-flight.
Although the 32-year-old combative midfielder has admittedly provided the Premier League with one of its most exciting stars in recent seasons, the Ivory Coast international has nonetheless suffered with a range of inconsistency issues whilst playing at the Etihad, regardless of his strong form overall.
The former Nou Camp battler sometimes portrays an almost unbeatable customer on his day for Manchester City, whilst somehow looking distinctly out-of-sorts throughout large portions of each respective campaign in equal measure.
So with his former Barcelona manager all set to step in and take over at the Etihad after the 2015/16 season finally reaches its natural conclusion, will Yaya Toure end up parting ways with Manchester City this summer in inevitable circumstances?
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If a series of recent reports are to be believed, it does in-fact seem as if Yaya Toure looks destined to depart the Etihad this summer, whether or not Manuel Pellegrini’s side eventually finish the 2015/16 campaign with some hard-earned silverware tucked safely in the trophy cabinet.
Due to his well-established reputation in the Premier League, Toure is almost routinely linked with an illustrious move away from the Etihad with every passing transfer window – but as Manchester City look set on parting ways with several high profile players this summer – perhaps all the recent gossip and speculation surrounding the 32-year-old midfielder may have some genuine substance behind it this time around.
Although Pep Guardiola previously managed the Ivorian whilst the pair were both operating at the Nou Camp together, such a notion doesn’t guarantee the player’s future in the Premier League whatsoever this summer. The incoming Manchester City boss was also the man who ultimately allowed Toure to seal his big-money switch to the Etihad in the first place.
However, even though much hype and anticipation will inevitably greet Pep Guardiola upon his initial introduction within the English game, would the Citizens really benefit from parting ways with one of their most influential players before the 2016/17 campaign finally gets underway?
The wealthy Premier League club are clearly keen on building something new at the Etihad once Guardiola finally asserts himself down in the Man City dug-out, but as Yaya Toure can nonetheless provide the English top-flight with one of its standout performers when things are going well for the powerful Ivorian, the Etihad boardroom staff can’t be carrying out any hasty decisions in what could very well turn out to be a particularly telling summer for the club indeed.
But whilst the current Manchester City star has clearly succeeded during his stay in the English game, the former Barcelona midfielder has simply looked far from his best throughout the vast majority of the 2015/16 campaign thus far. Toure has been indecisive so far this term, suspiciously lack-lustre on occasion, and he has undoubtedly gone missing from time to time under Manuel Pellegrini in 2015/16.
Regardless of whether or not Yaya Toure could suddenly start performing once again with Pep Guardiola at the helm, the mere presence of hesitation surrounding his overall game simply tells us all we really need to know. For all the success he has achieved in the Premier League, this is a player who Manchester City can no longer count upon for pure reliability on a week-to-week basis.
At 32 years of age, the once dominant Ivory Coast international is now reaching the latter stages of his career, and should potentially look to move on this summer in order to freshen up his own individual game more than anything else.
So, whilst several Manchester City fans may still feel a clear connection with the technically gifted midfielder and all that he can successfully bring to the Premier League, it remains hard to imagine Yaya Toure sticking it out at the Etihad this summer.