Yaya Toure has been one of the most influential midfield players in Premier League’s history. The former Barcelona man has led Manchester City to 2 League titles in his 4 seasons and when I say, he led them to title, he literally did that.
Manchester City look a completely different team without the big Ivorian in their side. Being an African player, Yaya has to miss city’s January fixtures due to his international commitments. Stats clearly suggest that City have never been able to fill Toure’s void when he is not playing.
I am taking last 2 seasons as the reference point to explain why Man City must need to look beyond Yaya Toure if they want to be successful in future. In 2012-13 season when Sir Alex Ferguson and Robin Van Persie walked away with the title after Yaya Toure was having a rather mediocre season with his standards.
Toure only managed 6 goals in the 2012-13 campaign and missed 4 games due to the African Cup of Nations commitments and 2 due to injuries. During those 6 games City only won 2 of those games, drawn 3 and lost 1. Without Yaya, City’s win% fell drastically to 33% as compared to the staggering 59% when he was in the side.
Yaya Toure in 2012/13 season
2012-13 season was a real kick on the teeth for Yaya and Man City especially after winning the League title in 2011-12 season, City were expected to build on their success and kick on but Yaya and Co. caught cold and could not reproduce their performance in 2012-13, Yaya in particular and City suffered big-time.
In came 2013-14 season, new manager Manuel Pellegrini saw the potential of Yaya Toure to play further up field and be more influential in City’s attack and the move worked like magic for the men in sky blue. Yaya Toure scored 20 goals from mid field and provided 9 assists.
Yaya Toure in 2013/14 season
Stats speak for themselves as it is quite obvious how the Yaya Toure led Man City side just kept winning matches last season and saw off Liverpool and Chelsea to win the league. With Yaya’s presence, there was a feeling of inevitability that City would eventually win the games.
Time and time again, it was Yaya Toure with his free kicks or late runs in the box or beating defenders and shooting, which led to City score vital goals and maintained a win% of over 60%. No African Cup of Nations meant City had Yaya for the full season and result was for everyone to see.
2014-15 season is widely thought to be Toure’s last in England with speculations linking him to Inter Milan to rebuild his partnership with Roberto Mancini. This has not led to a decline in form for the Ivorian as the big man has already scored 7 goals this season which is one better than his entire 2011-12 season efforts.
Manchester City have been rocked by Yaya’s International involvements once again. Prior to Yaya’s departure, City won 14 of their 18 league games, drew 2 and suffered loss in 2. Ever since Toure left for AFCON, City’s ability to win games has just died. City have been winless in 6 games since Yaya had left for AFCON.
These are alarming stats if you are a City fan especially considering this will be Yaya’s last season and Man City have failed to replace Yaya Toure miserably. City must take their cheque book once again and try to sign an ideal replacement for Yaya Toure. Likes of Paul Pogba, Arturo Vidal, Sami Khedira would be the few names City must go for in the 2015 summer transfer window.
Image credits: mcfc.co.uk, transfermarket