31-year-old Ivory Coast international Toure netted his first goal of the season on Saturday, as City saw off Aston Villa 2-0 to stay within touching distance of Premier League leaders Chelsea.
Having struggled since the death of his brother, Toure’s form in the World Cup and the start of the league campaign has been less than impressive, and it took until the final 10 minutes of the game at Villa Park for the midfielder to net a curling shot past Brad Guzan to open the scoring.
Voted in the 2014 Premier League Team of the Year, Toure was seen as City’s best player last season, with his combination of strength, finesse and speed transcending the abilities of every other midfielder in the division. And the praise received last season should be continuing into this campaign, according to new teammate Frank Lampard.
Lampard, himself one of the best midfielders of his generation, has had the benefit of both facing Toure, as well as playing with him, and he told the Manchester Evening News that the battle with Toure was ‘very difficult’ because of his ‘unique’ skill set.
Lampard, who left Chelsea this summer, said: “I have played against him many times and he is very, very difficult to play against.
“The physicality of him, the pace and the quality on the ball when he picks it up, meant he was always one of my toughest opponents, particularly in the last few years.
“He was far and away the best Premier League midfield player last year, without a doubt, so as a club City are very lucky to have him.
“He is unique. I watched him play for Barcelona a couple of times, but you could see from the minute he came to England what he has.
“He has that big stride, and when he opens it up there is no-one as quick or powerful as him in the league. He can shove people off and has a unique style.
“He scored 20-odd goals last season, and when he wants to dominate a game he does it with ease.
“He is a pleasure to play with, and seeing him close at hand has been as impressive as playing against him.”
Toure will be looking to build upon his performance shown in the victory at Aston Villa, with City trailing league leaders, and Lampard’s former club, Chelsea by five points heading into the October international break.