Manchester City’s Champions League squad for the current season provided a massive talking point for the City fans as new manager Pep Guardiola left veteran Yaya Toure out of that list. It was another message of how things are going to be under the former Barcelona manager and how he sees the club’s future. Yaya Toure has been one of the greatest signings for the club as he was an integral part of the change at the club since joining them in 2010 and has been one of the main architects of the list of silverwares accumulated by the Citizens so far.
However, he is 33 now and doesn’t have age on his side. With his contract expiring on 2017 he had his chance to leave Etihad in the summer with Inter Milan interested but stayed put to fight for his place in the squad. The Ivorian has previously played under Guardiola at Barcelona and even though he did manage to play a considerable chunk of league games, in the manager’s first two years, later on, the Spaniard preferred young Sergio Busquets in the defensive midfield role as a part of his midfield trio for his side.
Yaya Toure’s inclination to leave his position in favour of his forward runs was something that didn’t go down well with Guardiola despite the midfielder being immensely talented. This is something Thierry Henry pointed out while explaining the tactics he experienced under the current City manager during his time at Catalonia.
Since coming to Manchester, Pep has brought about a lot of changes already. He has sent the likes of Joe Hart, Samir Nasri, Wilfred Bony and Eliaquim Mangala on loan. Even though teams can register up to 25 players for their Champions League fixtures, eight of those players must be homegrown. City severely lack players in this particular area and with the departure of Joe Hart, the club could only submit a list of 21 players as Toure was left out.
Moreover, in the list of 17 overseas players, the manager chose to include new signings Leroy Sane and Ikay Gundogan who haven’t yet played for them as well as Vincent Kompany who is currently recovering from a groin and thigh operation and the youngster Kelechi Ihenacho.
Also, clubs can change 3 players after the group stages so there’s still a small chance for Toure to play champions league football for Manchester City this season. Nevertheless, if he does manage to get himself in then he would have to perform a lot better than what he did against Real Madrid last season in the semi-final.
Arka Tarun Mukherjee
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