Is Yaya Toure Irreplaceable at Manchester City?


It’s been a brilliant season for both Manchester City and Yaya Toure alike, while City clinched the Premier League title after shrugging Liverpool off, Yaya Toure claimed their Player of the Year award.

Toure Irreplaceable

However, the recent comments offered by the Ivorian suddenly provide a different picture of the scenario, while he was angered by the FA’s decision of not to award him a PFA Player of the Year award early on, he certainly felt betrayed by the Manchester City board due to a birthday snub. Whether it is the work of his agent or the player’s own desire to seek greener pastures, he certainly has let his Man City side down, who have played a huge part in him being the Premier League star player.

Before moving to the Emirates stadium, the Ivorian was an un-used substitute by Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola most of the time as he managed a mere 18 starts. In the 2009-10 campaign, when Barcelona won a double, Yaya Toure just scored 1 goal in 30 appearances for the Catalan giants, much to the annoyance of Barcelona fans. As a result, he was sold out the following summer when Man City came calling.


In terms of attack, Yaya Toure was on fire this season as he scored a staggering 20 goals. However, as history tells us, goals were not always friendly on the former Barca man. In his first two seasons at the club, he was used as a defensive midfielder while David Silva and Co. forged ahead of him in terms of goals. While it is Pellegrini who unleashed the African star, it was Roberto Mancini who spotted the talent and gave him the nod than no one ever dared to give him – – –  license to kill. Here are the stats comparing his first season with certain other City midfielders:


As the stats mentioned above suggest, there is only a minimal difference between the three players in terms of all the stats. Although Toure scored a good 8 goals in his first year at the Etihad, in terms of assists he was fourth for City as the newcomer James Milner left him behind that season.


Yaya Toure was originally bought to serve as a defensive midfielder as City was looking to solidify their midfield unit, however the untimely departure of Nigel De Jong allowed him to express himself going forward. Here are his first season stats:


While these stats provide a comparative look, they also serve as evidence showing that Toure was shy off the ball in his first season. With the giant-like structure that he is, his aerial duels win % seemed a distant memory from this season.

In his first season at the helm in Manchester, the Citizens scored a mere 60 goals, however, what they also achieved was 18 clean sheets by conceding only 33 goals. In what proved to be their last season before Sergio Aguero’s arrival, they managed just a little more than 1 goal per match. However, as a newcomer playing for the first time in England, it was a relatively successful season for the Ivorian who worked very hard to earn his place.

Why City deserve more

After being rejected by Arsenal years ago, Yaya Toure took a long turn as he evaded 5 countries before setting foot on the English soil again. However, upon his arrival, there was much more excitement surrounding the Etihad because he was a former Barcelona player rather than due to his individual brilliance. A player who scored 18 goals in his whole club career before joining Manchester City was not regarded highly by many then, especially the opponents, so it was the City board-room staff that carved the Prism.

Although Yaya Toure has been a star turn at City since being an important part in their first title in 44 years, the Citizens have offered him enough gratitude to stay loyal. The Manchester club will pay him 45million in wages over the next 4 years – should he stay of course. He is earning more than Steven Gerrard or Frank Lampard earned at their peak, and he might be the only man respected in the whole of Manchester regardless of playing in red or blue. So he should repay the faith.

Whether no one is erasing the impact Toure has had on this winning side, one should also adhere to the fact that it was Manchester City who gave him the nod and developed him into a full time goal scoring machine, so he was a product City nurtured rather than buying ready-made. Therefore, one birthday snub or a little tinkering by the FA should not short temper the player who owes City much more than the respect he is currently showering on them.


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