Make no mistake, Yaya Toure has been a fantastic player for City. A fan’s favourite, a man who can win matches almost single handed. He’s been arguably City’s best player for the last few seasons and he’s been instrumental in every one of the club’s recent successes.
When you have a player who’s that important to a club, it’s normal that you wouldn’t want him to move on. With Yaya though, we really feel the time is right. Ever since the birthday cake incident a couple of years back, Yaya has been on the decline. Still capable of great moments, but also equally likely to drift through matches looking like he doesn’t want to be there.
His agent doesn’t help. Every summer we hear him tout Yaya around for a move. Whether this is just to get him a pay rise, or just to keep the agent’s name in the news, who knows? But it’s getting boring now, and we can do without another summer of the same old saga playing out again. This time he can actually go through with it.
It’s worth remembering that Yaya is not actually out of contract until 2017, so he can announce he’s leaving all he likes, but if the club say he can’t leave then that is the end of the matter. One suspects that any sensible offer will be accepted though.
The final factor that makes this seem like a good idea is the arrival of Pep Guardiola. Remember Pep has already sold Yaya once, that’s how City got him in the first place. And that was a younger, faster and hungrier version. It’s hard to see Pep wanting to keep the older and less interested version around as he looks to build a new team next season.
The latest stories in the papers suggest that Yaya wants to stay in the Premier League. I wonder if the new influx of money next season has anything to do with that? The likes of West Ham, one name he’s been linked with, could easily afford to pay Yaya’s wage – assuming he doesn’t demand a substantial rise – and he’s still a good enough player and a big enough name to be attractive to a club with ambitions.
It’s been great seeing Yaya in a City shirt, and fans will always be grateful for his contributions. But the time is now right for an amicable parting of ways. It’s a case of so long, thanks and good luck – and that is the best way to say goodbye.