Yaya Toure is yet to feature under Pep Guardiola in the Premier League this season.
There was a time when leaving Toure out of Manchester City’s starting 11 would have been unthinkable, but those days are long gone. Since joining Man City in 2010 for £24m, Yaya Toure has been an integral part of the team’s success especially when they won the Premier League in the 2011/12 and 2013/14 seasons.
Toure was named in the PFA Team of the Year both times that City won the title because of his unforgettable contributions. In six years at the club, Toure has scored 57 Premier League goals and provided 30 assists. He used to be the main man but times have changed.
Things started going badly in September when new boss, Pep Guardiola, left Yaya Toure out of his 2016-17 Champions League squad. After the group stage, where City are up against Celtic, Barcelona and Borussia Monchengladbach, clubs can change three players but there is little chance of Toure being included.
Dimitri Seluk, Yaya Toure’s agent and a man who is too opinionated for his own good, said of Pep’s decision to exclude Toure from City’s Champions League squad: “If City don’t win the Champions League then I hope that Pep has got the balls to say that he was wrong to humiliate a great player like Yaya.”
Usually, when a new manager comes in, they give all of the players a chance to prove themselves and they can then use this to help them determine their best starting 11. Toure was always going to be at a disadvantage because, having managed him at Barcelona and subsequently sold him to Man City, Pep already knows what Yaya Toure is about.
The Ivorian midfielder has made just one appearance for Man City so far this season and that was in the second leg of the Champions League play-off against Steaua Bucharest, when City were already 5-0 up from the first game.
Toure decided to retire from international football in September and said “I don’t feel able to set new goals as a player with the Elephants of Côte d’Ivoire.” I thought this was an odd decision to make given the fact that it would probably have been his best opportunity to get some regular football. In addition to that, Toure has not been nominated for this year’s African Footballer of the Year award, so he will not have the chance to win the accolade for a record fifth time.
On the same day that Toure made his big announcement, Pep Guardiola said he wants an apology from Dimitri Seluk over comments made when Toure was omitted from the Champions League squad. He added: “I cannot accept as a coach, when his player doesn’t play, going to the media to speak and speak and speak.” Seluk sees no reason to apologise to Guardiola and Yaya Toure’s legacy at Man City continues to wither as a result.
Toure is still an excellent player and he could keep playing at the highest level for several seasons to come but the chances of that happening at Man City are very slim. Several clubs have been linked with him and if he wants to play football again this season, he should join one of them in January and put the whole saga to bed.