Yaya Toure has always been a significant cornerstone for Manchester City’s midfield ever since he signed on with the Sky Blues in 2010. Contrary to recent verbal flares from his agent stating that his client rather feels unwanted and is in need of “more attention,” Yaya has undoubtedly, proven himself to his manager(s), teammates, and fans that he is indispensable and irreplaceable.
This season, Yaya had taken on a different role than that he generally did, and thrived at it quite remarkably. The Ivorian giant had scored 20 goals in the Premier League, a record for a midfielder in the league. Only surpassed by that of Frank Lampard, who scored 22 goals in 2009-10, of which 10 were from the penalty spot. Along with 9 assists, Yaya Toure had also managed to top the charts in passes completed with 2,207 total.
At first glance, one would think that his offensive explosion during a game comes at the cost of his defensive duties. But, wondrously enough, his performance on the defensive end had improved more than what would have been expected. A quick look at his stats per 90 minutes from this and last season – courtesy of Squawka – would provide more clear insight.
Based on the above, apart from interceptions, Yaya had progressed optimistically, at least to a point that’s expected of a midfielder, all the while advancing on the other end of the pitch with his darting and powering runs that we had noticed quite enjoyably.
Another approach to measure the Ivorian’s performance would be to compare the performances of his colleagues in the related position – Javi Garcia and Fernandinho, respectively.
Javi Garcia apparently was more active on the defensive end in comparison to Fernandinho, except for tackles won, which makes sense. It couldn’t be any easier to beat Garcia to pace or skip past him.
But to look at Yaya’s transformation as a whole, the numbers he produced on the offensive end suggests his newfound admiration for scoring goals.
Yaya Toure has managed to score more from less, all the while, increasing his dominating presence inside the box which has resulted in 9 goals, 3 more from last season.
He has initiated a new form of himself, through this box-to-box football of his. With these numbers, it’s easily forgotten that he used to be a defensive henchman, barely going past the half way line.
His agent is aware of his client’s force-to-be-reckoned-with nature, and from his recent remarks obviously realized, as lame as it sounds, that his client deserved more than a cake and a card for his birthday.