When he first turned up in the Premier League off the back of a mega £24 million deal with the newly financed Manchester City, Yaya Toure came with a reputation as a no-nonsense defensive midfielder whose main assets were breaking up play and keeping things ship-shape in front of his respective back four.
As the younger brother of Kolo Toure – a former Arsenal centre-back who had more than done justice to his family’s name on these here shores – very few saw the potential in Yaya to become the huge goal threat and midfield enforcer that he is today. It seems that playing with Barcelona gives certain players that added bit of depth to their style, for it has allowed the now 31-year-old to often boss midfield proceedings with minimal effort since he first arrived at the Etihad in 2010.
With Ligue 1 giants PSG reportedly registering an interest in landing the Ivory Coast international according to reports in The Daily Express – and after several perhaps unsubstantiated rumours that the player is increasingly growing frustrated at Manuel Pellegrini’s side – Yaya Toure’s future with the Citizens hardly stands in the most concrete place right now.
In light of such developments, should the Premier League champions do literally everything in their power to make sure their star man stays on board, or would Manchester City in fact be better off selling Yaya Toure as they look to revamp their image in the run up to next season?
Well for one thing, if the former Barcelona man were in fact to depart the comfortable realms of the Etihad this summer, the 31-year-old wouldn’t exactly be short of potential suitors looking to pick up his services. Several of Europe’s most high profile clubs are in contention to snatch up the midfielder if reports in The Daily Express are to be believed – and because of what he can offer his respective team out on the pitch – such revelations hardly come as much of a surprise.
Yaya Toure is simply a machine when things are going his way. He can dictate the pace with his enforcing style in the middle of the park and has a range of passing that would even get the likes of Andrea Pirlo to raise an eyebrow or two. Yet perhaps what is most surprising about the player’s overall game is that Toure has it in his locker to score some simply sublime goals.
Within all the power that comes with his approach, the Ivorian’s technical skill and ability to finesse his shots finely into the back of the net really make watching him on a weekly basis a joy to behold. At this stage then it would seem mad for Manchester City to think about waving goodbye to their highly valued no. 42 anytime soon – but like with every good Premier League story – there is invariably another side to this particular tale.
For one reason or another, 2014/15 simply hasn’t been a vintage year for Yaya Toure – and it has clearly been shown in the fact that Manuel Pellegrini’s side have so far proved second best to Chelsea in the title race. Consistency just doesn’t seem to be something that comes naturally to him. Whilst the midfielder still remains a great player, when he fails to perform the ramifications for his Manchester City side are pretty concerning to say the least.
The likes of David Silva and Sergio Aguero seemingly lack their spark without a fit and firing Yaya Toure behind them – and although great things were expected of the £30 million Fernandinho with City when he first signed from Shakhtar Donetsk – the Brazilian simply doesn’t have the same match-winning effect that the big Ivorian can sometimes produce at ease in the middle of the park.
Coupled with the fact that Toure is no spring chicken at 31-years-old, and that Manchester City are lining up a host of English players as reported in The Daily Star, perhaps now would be a good time to call it a day with Yaya Toure. Nothing lasts forever after all, and as Manchester City simply lack the prestige and history that other big European powerhouses have in abundance, the player himself is potentially likely to want to move on sooner or later anyway.
As City have gone the English route before and failed miserably however – just ask the likes of Scott Sinclair and Jack Rodwell – then maybe a degree of caution must be applied regarding any major decision involving Yaya Toure and his future at the Etihad.