Monday November 21st, 2016

Talk about making an impact: this was Yaya Touré’s first league appearance of the season and he scored both goals in Manchester City’s 2-1 win. He won’t be in action in the Champions League Wednesday night, as he was omitted from City’s squad after the summer fall-out between coach Pep Guardiola and the player’s agent Dmitry Seluk. Guardiola banned Touré from playing unless Seluk apologised for comments he made to the media. It was Touré who made the first move, apologizing via Facebook last week and earning an immediate reprieve. He had been training with the first team and has lost the weight that Guardiola complained about in the summer. 

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Touré can now provide City with another dimension in midfield, even if he is no longer the powerhouse that dominated matches in City’s title win in 2012. His presence will allow Guardiola to rotate Kevin de Bruyne (who has taken on Toure’s match-winning mantle), Ilkay Gündogan and Fernando around the busy Christmas period. And then Guardiola will have two decisions to make: one, will he put Touré in his Champions League squad for the knockout phase if City makes it? And two, with the player’s contract up next summer, is there a potential way back for an extension at the Etihad or is it too late for that? 

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