It’s an area of the field that Arsene Wenger has spent the last 11 years experimenting with, following the departure of Patrick Vieira back in 2005. And while many have tried and failed to step into the Frenchman’s boots in central midfield, could Yaya Toure be the next to give it a go at Arsenal?
At 20/1, our traders don’t seem to think so, but are they missing a trick with this one? We reckon there’s every chance of this happening, and here’s why…
Guardiola isn’t keen
It’s clear for every football fan to see that Yaya Toure just doesn’t fit into Pep Guardiola’s plans. Pep was the man who sold the Ivorian to Manchester City back in 2010, and the 33-year-old is yet to play a single minute of Premier League football this season.
Throw into the mix the fact that Toure has been left out of Guardiola’s 21-man Champions League squad and there’s every reason to suggest the dynamic midfielder will be plying his trade away from the Etihad come January.
And given how clear Pep has made it that Toure is surplus to requirements at City, it’s unlikely a hefty fee will have to be splashed to secure his services.
Arsene knows Toure all too well
It’s no secret that Yaya Toure once had a trial with the Gunners back in 2003, and this one might just be the biggest name to slip through the net at the north London club in recent years.
Add to that the six seasons that Wenger has seen Toure play in the Premier League and it’s safe to say the French boss knows this potential target inside out.
Wenger loves a January buy
It’s a transfer window most Premier League managers hate, but it’s often been where Wenger has been most productive – particularly in midfield.
January is a month which has seen Abou Diaby, Andrei Arshavin, Theo Walcott, Kim Kallstrom and Mohamed Elneny all arrive at the Emirates to add either pace or stability midway through a campaign, and there’s no doubt the acquisition of Toure would further strengthen Wenger’s current crop of midfielders.
Don’t read into his agent’s comments
Toure’s agent, Dimitri Seluk, has recently claimed it would be ‘impossible’ for Toure to join Arsenal, although they have apparently expressed an interest. And perhaps this is why the odds on him swapping the Etihad for the Emirates are so high.
But, lest we forget, this is a man who said back in April “he’ll definitely leave Manchester City [this summer], I can calmly confirm that”. So should we take Seluk’s latest comments as gospel? We don’t think so.
Ask any football manager if they’d like a Champions League, La Liga, Premier League, FA Cup and African Cup of Nations winner in their side and they’ll snap your hand off.
Yaya Toure next club odds:
Any Chinese club 7/2
Any Qatari club 9/2
New York City 10/1
LA Galaxy 10/1
Any UAE club 12/1
Inter Milan 16/1
Manchester United 25/1
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.