Five Premier League renaissance men after Toure’s Man City comeback
Simon Sinclair | 28 November 2016
Five Premier League renaissance men
An old saying suggests, what goes up, must come down. That phrase has been extremely prevalent in football in the modern era, with many players enjoying dramatic rises but even harsher falls.
However, the best do not dwell on their failings and strive to their utmost to get back to the peak of their powers.
Here are five Premier League players that are showing signs that they may be returning their best form this term or have risen back to greatness in the past.
Yaya Toure (Manchester City)
The Ivorian drew the ire of new manager Pep Guardiola after his agent made comments criticising the City boss for his decision to leave Toure out of his 25-man Champions League squad.
As a result, the midfielder failed to feature for the club in the opening three months of the season. His exile appeared to be signalling that Toure would be sold in January, but Guardiola called on his services against Crystal Palace and he did not disappoint with a match-winning brace.
Should the Ivorian return to his best throughout the campaign, City will have another quality player available to lead their charge for the Premier League title.
Victor Moses (Chelsea)
Moses moved to Stamford Bridge in 2012 after impressing during his time with Wigan Athletic.
However, he found it extremely difficult to break into the Chelsea team under Jose Mourinho, consequently he was sent out on loan to Liverpool, Stoke City and West Ham to gain further experience.
Since the arrival of Antonio Conte, the Nigeria international has flourished in his new position at right wing-back, using his pace and skill going forward as well as impressive work rate and strength to fulfil his defensive duties.
It appears that he is finally living up to his potential and will only improve with further playing time in his new role.
Victor Valdes (Middlesbrough)
For 12 seasons the Spaniard had the keeper’s spot at Barcelona locked down, making over 500 appearances for the Catalan club. However, the 2013/14 campaign would be his last at the Camp Nou, stating his desire to move on after suffering from a lack of form.
He signed for Manchester United on a free transfer, but made just two appearances behind David de Gea and was reportedly unwilling to play in reserve-team fixtures, forcing him to join Standard Liege on loan last term to gain playing time.
Since his move to Middlesbrough in the summer, the 34-year-old has rebounded and has produced several fine performances in the Premier League, making a number of quality saves for the Northeast outfit in their recent defeat to Chelsea.
Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City)
Shaqiri was one of the hottest properties in European football after the 2012 season, and it came as no surprise when he moved from FC Basel to Bayern Munich.
However, after initially impressing at the Allianz Arena he found first-team opportunities harder to come by, which culminated in a move to Inter in 2014, only to last just one season with the Serie A outfit.
The football world was stunned when Stoke City clinched a £12m deal to sign the Swiss in August 2015.
Since then the 25-year-old has not looked back, and was steady in his first term in the Premier League before sparking into his best form this season, highlighting his class with a match-winning brace against Hull City.
Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool)
There were few expectations of the Brazilian when he joined the Reds in January 2013 in an £8.5m deal from Inter. The youngster had failed to fire in Serie A, although an impressive loan spell with Espanyol proved that there was a lot of potential to work with.
After a solid start to his Liverpool career, he became an integral part of the side in the club’s first meaningful Premier League title challenge in years, notching five goals in 33 appearances as Brendan Rodgers’ men just fell short.
Since the retirement of Steven Gerrard, Coutinho has been the driving force in the midfield and his role has only expanded under Jurgen Klopp.
He has the quality to expose any defence in the Premier League either with his passing or finishing skills, making him one of the top players in the league.
Coutinho is a long way removed from the midfielder that struggled to get a game for Inter four years ago.