Since making his reported £24m move to Manchester City from Barcelona 2010, the 6ft 4inch Ivorian has been playing to a consistently high standard. Toure was a figurehead in Man City’s title win, and he’ll go down in history as one of the blue’s greats.
But this season, Yaya Toure seems to have primed into a high standard which could be classed as almost unachievable. Maintaining an average of 90.7% successful passes from a total exceeding 1200, he can dictate the play as good as anyone else.
Scoring nine goals and a further three assists from his 17 Premier League matches, his tally would be deemed decent for a top striker. For a supposed defensive midfielder, it’s outrageously good.
As for his defensive duties, averaging 1.5 tackles, 0.8 interceptions and 0.9 clearances per game the stats are comparable with any other defensive midfielder in the league.
Is there anything the complete midfielder can’t do? Well with his recent set piece record, it would suggest there isn’t.
A huge part of Yaya’s game had gone unnoticed until this season, his consistent set pieces. The Man City midfielder's four goals from direct free kicks this season is more than any other player in Europe’s top leagues.
The list that trails in his wake includes renowned free-kick masters such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Andrea Pirlo. There is no denying that the Ivorian is the world’s best free-kick taker at this moment in time.
His most recent free-kick against Fulham at Craven Cottage bordered on the ridiculous. From the angle he took, it looked for all the world that he was going to leave it for the left foot of Aleksandar Kolarov. Youngsters aren’t trained to strike a ball like that, but the technique was brilliant and Fulham goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg could only stand and watch as the ball rocketed into the top corner.
Yaya Toure’s goal scoring streak hasn’t just come from dead-ball situations. His record of 11 goals in his last 22 appearances in all competitions is the best run of his career, and there is still half a season left to add to the tally.
Manuel Pellegrini and City fans alike will be hoping their star midfielder can continue his form well into the second half of the season. With the determination to claw back the title from city neighbors Manchester United you wouldn’t bet against the midfielder scoring a fair few more free-kicks before the season is over.
image: © marc_tacoma