Six foot three inch Ivorian central midfielder Yaya Toure has joined big Premier League spenders Manchester City on a five year deal from European club giants Barcelona. Toure joins older brother Kolo in the Eastlands setup and his signing pushes City’s spending to over £60 million pounds following the earlier captures of Hamburg and Germany international left back Jerome Boateng and ex-Valencia starlet David Silva.
The Ivory Coast international has joined City for a fee of around £27.5million, after three highly successful years with the Catalan giants, where Yaya won the La Liga twice and the Copa Del Rey. He also played a pivotal role in Barcelona’s Champions League Final success in 2009.
City chief Roberto Mancini told the club’s official website that Yaya Toure is “a another fantastic signing for Manchester City, and I am very pleased Yaya has joined us, he is a very good player.” He also added that he believes Toure’s “experience and ability will be very important for us.”
Toure will have competition for places at the City of Manchester Stadium, with Nigel De Jong, Gareth Barry, Stephen Ireland and Patrick Vieira all fighting to occupy the central midfield roles at the Abu Dhabi owned club. Expect more deals to pass through the chequebooks at the City of Manchester Stadium, as Roberto Mancini looks to strengthen his squad ahead of their forthcoming Europa League campaign, in which Toure will look to play a prominent and key role.
The question now on everybody’s lips is can the introduction of Toure help them win the Premier League, like so many City fans have been dreaming of since the takeover by the Abu Dhabi billionaires? In my opinion, no it can’t. The introduction of Nigel De Jong in the previous summer transfer window was supposed to have the same impact that Toure is stirring and City still finished outside the Champions League positions. They have done a shrewd piece of business by recruiting David Silva, as he will give the attacking flair and ingenuity that Manchester City have missed since the days of Georgi Kinkladze at Maine Road, but the signing of Toure shows their transfer market inexperience.
Yet again, Manchester City have wielded their financial muscles, without thinking of the club consequences. This move guarantees the exit door for Stephen Ireland and losing him is a massive blow to the club, as he is adored by the fans and I enjoy the way he plays and the variety he brings to City’s way of play. This signing also leaves either De Jong or Gareth Barry sitting on the bench, and with both of them progressing through the group stages of the World Cup with Holland and England respectively, they will feel they deserve a better chance than a midfielder who spent most of his time playing as a makeshift, although readily able, central defender. City will not want to lose the bite and feistiness that Barry and De Jong supplied in spades last season.
I understand the move on Toure’s behalf, as he wants first-team football at a rapidly growing football club both on the pitch and off. However, the conflict in midfield will again derail City and the fact that Mancini will have to juggle three top quality defensive midfielders into a team full of attacking flair from Tevez, Silva and Wright-Phillips will contribute to a low team morale and ultimately end up in another trophyless season and another Thursday night, Channel 5 job for the Manchester side. Whatever happens, City will make for interesting viewing when August comes.