Pros and cons of touted Yaya Toure replacements at Manchester City
Recent quotes attributed to Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure’s agent Dimitri Seluk said the Ivorian was “90 per cent certain” to leave the Eithad this summer.
Although the Citizens are 5/2 second-favourites with Coral to regain the Premier League title next season, this has sparked further speculation over who could replace 31-year-old Toure as their main engine room operator. Our football experts have, as a result, got their heads together and assessed the pros and cons of those linked with a move to the blue half of Manchester.
Pros: Belgium playmaker De Bruyne, 23, is one of the leading assist makers in Europe, laying on 27 goals for his Wolfsburg teammates across all competitions since switching from Chelsea. He has also enjoyed brief exposure to Premier League football during his time on the books at Stamford Bridge.
Cons: While his reported valuation of £35m is not as expensive as alternative targets, there must have been a reason for Blues boss Jose Mourinho to move De Bruyne on, with rumours that he might not give his all in training one mooted explanation.
Pros: A former Golden Boy award winner for the best young player in Europe, France dynamo Pogba, 22, has also spent time in English football across town at City’s neighbours Manchester United, and was let go by Sir Alex Ferguson. That may have fuelled him to prove the Red Devils icon wrong, and what better way to do that than by flourishing at the Etihad?
Current club Juventus have held previous interest in some of City’s players, namely Edin Dzeko, Stevan Jovetic and Aleksandar Kolarov, so some or all of these could be used as makeweights or sweeteners.
Cons: Pogba’s price-tag could be £80m, and there is no guarantee Citizens supporters would take to a man given a break across town, as they did with Carlos Tevez.
Pros: Has over 100 Premier League appearances, including a loan spell at Bolton Wanderers in 2009/10, under his belt. Wilshere, 23, is also high-profile and English, with City needing homegrown heroes, especially as James Milner. Micah Richards and Scott Sinclair could all leave this summer. He would follow a steady stream of ex-Gunners up north too.
Cons: An injury-prone record is a major understatement. Wilshere brings this on himself sometimes, making rash tackles, which although show his commitment also endanger his fitness. Arsenal (5/1 title chances in 2015/16) could also name their price, and he would come at a hefty premium, as Arsene Wenger would be selling to a rival.