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Few players in world football are as difficult to understand as the enigma that is Yaya Toure.
On good days, he is a genuine world class performer, the best all-round midfielder in the Premier League and certainly up there with anything world football has to offer. On bad days, of which there have been quite a few this season, he is a liability.
At his best, Yaya Toure is close to unplayable, a colossal figure that is arguably the complete central midfielder. He possesses the physical presence and athleticism to dominate even the most combative of opponents as well as the ability to pick a pass and execute it.
Goal threat with the Citizens
While at Manchester City he has also become a real goal threat, netting 70 times in his five and a half seasons at the club, some of which have been absolutely sublime.
Even this season, which hasn’t been his greatest by any means, we have seen several glimpses of brilliance that help explain why he was named African Player of the Year four times running between 2011 and 2014.
His dominant performance and cool finish at West Brom on the opening day suggested this could be another vintage season from the Ivorian while his assist at Everton was a pass that few players in the league would have even dared to attempt let alone pull off to perfection and set up a goal.
However as the season has worn on, increasingly the talk has not been of his wonder-goals or creative ingenuity but of his inability to track back and do a job for his team.
A lot of blame has been portioned his way for high profile defeats against Arsenal and Leicester and he is in danger of tarnishing his reputation as a City great in what is likely to be his final season at the club.
The appointment of Pep Guardiola as Man City manager from next season was greeted with almost universal approval, but not you sense in the Toure household. Guardiola was the man who deemed him surplus to requirements at Barcelona in 2010 and with Toure turning 33 in a few months, it is highly unlikely his old boss will see him as part of his vision for the next few years at the Etihad.
This then is most likely Yaya Toure’s City swansong and on both his and his team’s current form it could end up being a sour ending to what has been a highly distinguished stay in England.
However, there are still four trophies to play for and if the Ivorian can finish the season with a flourish he could still very well collect some more silverware and there are surely going to be one or two more moments of magic from the mercurial midfielder.
Written by Mark Sochon
Follow Mark on Twitter @tikitakagol
Check out his brilliant blog on all things La Liga, Tiki-Taka-Gol!
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