Yaya success reinforces Man United's greatest failure of recent times

Etihad Stadium

The rampaging brilliance of Manchester City midfielder is perhaps a stark reminder for rivals Manchester United over what could have been…

Manchester City star Yaya Toure possesses that rare trait in football.

There are a number of elite-level players who can brag a trickery on the ball, or who have exquisite close control,  or can scare the bejesus out of opposition defences with rampaging runs or are renowned for their deadly hit-man style finishing, however, when you combine all these assets together and you are a strong, 6ft 2in tall athlete weighing in at a heavyweight 14 stones and two pounds, then you have the ingredients for problems that not many opponents will have the answer for.

The Ivorian was at it again on Wednesday, May 7.

Toure completed 104 of his 119 passes (an 87% passing accuracy), completed a lengthy dribble, kept things ticking over in the middle of the park… he even scored, rounding off the 4-0 victory in the 90th minute.

Despite the goal-scoring prowess of Sergio Aguero, Alvaro Negredo and/or Edin Dzeko, it is the maestro from the middle of the park Toure who must be Manchester City's club player of the season.

He has been unstoppable.

  Touch/ AppPass/ AppPass AccTackle/ AppHeader/ AppMins/ ChanceAssistGoalsAppsMins
Touré 80.7 70.2 90% 1.6 0.85 81.2 8 20 34 2,841

While a 90% passing accuracy and an 80 touch per game average are statistics that perfectly demonstrate how influential Yaya Toure is on a game by game basis - that when City are on form, he is instrumental to the effective plays - what has been most impressive this season is his combined 28 goals (20) and assists (8), meaning he affects the scoreline once every 101 minutes he is on a Premier League pitch.

What has been City's greatest individual success this year, though, serves as a stark reminder of what could arguably be local rivals Manchester United's biggest failure - the inability to nurture and encourage Paul Pogba to get to the stage where he felt Old Trafford was his future.

United fan forums have been awash this year, particularly during the mid-season transfer window, with posters querying where a younger Yaya Toure can be found.

Pogba, at Juventus, is the obvious answer, yet it is not one that pleases Stretford supporters as it is a player they had for three years but effectively did nothing with - and he is now a £39.5m-rated midfielder (according to transfermarkt.co.uk's market valuation) with perhaps 15 years head of him.

At 21-years-old, Pogba is the definition of wonderkid and returned Yaya-like statistics against Bologna, in a recent Serie A match.

Pogba returned an 88% passing accuracy, was dominant in the air (winning five of six aerial tussles), completed two of his five tackles, cleared the ball thrice, committed to four dribbles but, most importantly, scored the game's sole goal.

Just how big a loss has a player like Pogba been for United and how much of an effect could he have had this season - particularly when academy products such as Adnan Januzaj, James Wilson and Tom Lawrence have broken through?

What has been City's biggest success in Yaya, certainly should remind United of what could have been with Pogba.

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for MANCHESTER CITY team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch