Yaya Touré is undoubtedly one of the best midfielders in the world; it’s indisputable that Manchester City would have failed to win the title last season without his presence in the team. From an attacking midfield position Yaya managed to score a staggering 20 goals, 24 if you include the League Cup & Champions League. He was the highest goal scorer for City and the 3rd highest in the Premier League behind Liverpool duo Suarez & Sturridge, moreover he achieved a staggering 2502 successful passes, a league best. So after City secured their second title triumph on the 11th of May with a comfortable 2-0 win over West Ham, who would’ve predicted that Yaya would give a statement expressing his current discontent at Manchester City?
This article is obviously going to be very opinionated as many of the topics discussed are just speculation and far from fact, I am a City fan however I continuously attempt to make my articles as neutral as possible. His agent Dimitry Seluk initially made the claim that Yaya was unhappy at City, and although denying the claims made he later confirmed them upon the team’s arrival in Abu Dhabi. His agent incessantly implied that Yaya was genuinely considering leaving City due to him not being wished a happy birthday by many players and staff at the club. Although City uploaded a video to their YouTube channel showing staff presenting Yaya with a birthday cake during a flight, however the gesture was ignored by Touré. Speaking on this statement I believe that a mature 31 year old man surely cannot get upset at the fact he was not wished happy birthday nor given a birthday cake; bearing in mind that most of the squad, coaching staff & owners were still celebrating their league title at the time as Yaya’s birthday fell just 2 days after securing the title.
Furthermore Seluk repeatedly stated that Yaya is underappreciated at Manchester City due to there being limited shirts in the club shop and no pictures of him in and around the stadium; I suppose he must have just missed the 52ft poster of him on one side of the Etihad. Moreover as a fan whom has only missed a handful of home games this season I find those comments absolutely flabbergasting, people (including myself) continually referred to Touré as the best midfielder in the world and an incredible asset to our football club; there are many songs about Yaya Touré which are easily the most frequently sang at the Etihad. Likewise the management & staff blatantly appreciate Yaya to the highest degree as he has started in every fixture which Manuel Pellegrini felt important enough to include him. As a further show of gratitude the manager even decided to give him the vice-captaincy signifying how important Pellegrini believes Yaya to be.
Additionally to the claims of discontent Yaya has also voiced a nauseating claim that Manchester City refused to grant him time to spend with his sick brother, whom tragically died in mid-June. Yaya Touré stated that a request to spend five days with his brother before jetting off to the World Cup was refused by Manchester City; an astonishing claim if true. However Manchester City insists they have never refused a request for compassionate leave and never would. They also said that extensive pastoral support also given to both Touré brothers to console them about their loss. Two contradictory statements from both parties certainly raises enigmas about the claim, it is certainly not an act that you would expect from a club often nicknamed “The People’s Club”. Moreover they would certainly be able to assume that it would massively affect Yaya Touré’s relationship with the club in a negative manner. I find it extremely hard to believe that a football club would deny a player permission to see a dying family member however it’s unlikely we’ll ever discover the entire truth behind this event.
Yaya left the 2013/14 Premier League season as an extremely highly rated player with the World Cup ahead of him; full of confidence he undoubtedly thought he could take Côte d’Ivoire further than any African team had ever been, this could lead to contract improvements or another club willing to take him and pay senseless wages. He has played for 6 clubs in 10 years making loyalty certainly not one of his many tremendous traits. Unfortunately Les Éléphants captain and talisman didn’t perform to his inhumane abilities causing his nation to crash out at the group stages after a 2-1 defeat to the Greeks due to a debatable last minute penalty. Yaya made a statement saying that he would speak after the World Cup regarding his career future; he decided that he wanted to stay at Manchester City for the foreseeable future.
It’s possible that he decided to stay because of the disappointing World Cup; it’s conceivable that no clubs would pay his wages or transfer fee after the disappointing tournament leaving him no option but to stay with the sky blues. Likewise Pellegrini may have chosen to hush this up for the sake of the fans, on the other hand Yaya may have had a change of heart and realised his genuine passion for the club he’s served for the last 4 years.
So does Yaya Touré deserve to remain a Manchester City player this season or would it have been in the club’s best interest to sell him whilst his stock is high and buy a sufficient younger replacement. This was certainly many City fans’ opinions, Paul Pogba’s name frequently cropping up as a satisfactory signing to fill the gaping void that Yaya would leave if he was to depart the club. Pogba who is only 21 has had a couple of stupendous seasons for La Vecchia Signora; he certainly has been enjoying his time in Italy after he decided to leave Manchester United after what he described as poor treatment by Sir Alex Ferguson. With slight resentment towards the red side of Manchester that may have encouraged him to make the switch back to England, however it seemed that Pogba was keen to stay in Italy. Surely then it’s lucky for the Citizens that Yaya Touré has decided to remain with Manchester City, he will likely to want to make it up to the fans for leaving them in suspense over the summer. Touré pledged that the main reason he wanted to remain at the club was for the sake of fans; I’m confident that he will bounce back from this perplexing saga enforcing a strong title defence for City.
There are many enigmas and confusions surrounding the Yaya Touré saga, I think only Yaya himself knows what’s really gone on and why he has reacted in very peculiar ways. There is a high chance of Yaya guiding City to successive Premier League titles and I’m sure that would push the memories of this chronicle out of their heads resulting in a re-kindled love with every blue’s favourite African.