With the departure of Yaya Toure looming, Manchester City’s disappointing end to the season is in danger of spilling over in to the start of next.
Aguero’s fitness, or rather lack of it, has always had a huge impact on City’s form. But more noticeably this season, the lack of spark from their midfield colossus has been equally detrimental, if not more so, to their title challenge.
DOMINANT EDGE LOST
Man City’s dominance in recent seasons has been inextricably linked to Toure. His powerful runs from midfield have seen opposition players fall by the wayside, parting them with his tree trunk like thighs just as Moses did the Red Sea.
His ability to score goals, as well as control the game from midfield, made him one of the Premier League’s best players. Winning games almost single handedly at times, City have always been able to call upon the Ivorian titan whenever they’ve needed him.
But, with the infamous birthday cake scandal and City’s inability to break their Champions League curse, many believe Toure has accomplished all he can at the Etihad, losing the desire to play for them in the process. Unfortunately for Pellegrini’s side it seems seeking pastures new may be the only way to reawaken the giant that lies dormant within him.
THE PERFECT REPLACEMENT
Toure’s departure will leave a huge void, one not so easily filled due to the sheer size of the man as well as his extraordinary ability. However, with rumours spreading of a summer move for Paul Pogba in the pipeline, it seems the Citizens have identified the one player that would be capable of doing so.
In Pogba City would have a more than adequate replacement, if not improvement given Toure’s age and at times lackadaisical approach. The French international would be comfortable being deployed in either way Toure has been used during his time at the Etihad.
The Ivorian is seemingly more effective the further up the pitch he goes, whilst Pogba’s efficiency as a deep lying midfielder or the team’s principal attacking force is unwavering. He has even found himself on the flanks during his time with Juventus, and his competency when doing so is yet another testament to his phenomenal ability, and his incredible valuation.
His physicality, strength and speed makes him a perfect fit to partner the likes of Fernandinho, whilst his technical ability would mean City stay true to a midfield dynamic that has brought them so much success in the past.
Should City wish to push him further forward however, Pogba would relish the opportunity. His goal threat from distance means that upon entering the final third he presents an immediate threat to the opposition.
He is also no slouch carrying the ball forward at his feet. The powerful runs of Toure’s I mentioned earlier were very much the Ivorian’s calling card. Pogba too can have a similar impact, perhaps with even more style and grace than Toure before him. Everything he does is laced with flair; flicks and tricks are part and parcel of his game.
Forking out the rumoured €100 million fee would be entirely worth it. Pogba would give them an air of unpredictability, and not of the Mario Balotelli kind. The young Frenchman can quite as easily waltz his way through waves of onrushing defenders as he can lash the ball home from 40 yards.
Talent aside, snaffling this signature in particular would be the ultimate disrespect to their bitter rivals, especially if Pogba were to lead City into a prolonged period of dominance over their noisy neighbours Manchester United.
Many have ridiculed Sir Alex Ferguson for letting Pogba go, with Juventus ‘keeper Gianluigi Buffon the latest to weigh in with his own a playful taunt towards the United legend.
“After just a few training sessions, we saw how good he was. it cannot have been the same player they saw in Manchester – we thought they maybe needed glasses.”
Should City be the future beneficiaries of his talent, Ferguson may find criticism from even the most loyal of United fans. Letting Pogba go will be a difficult mistake to forgive should a potential summer switch to the Etihad cause the Blue Moon to rise once again, casting the city of Manchester, and Old Trafford with it, in its shadow.
It seems Pogba would be the perfect summer signing in more ways than one. The imminent departure of Toure means finding a suitable replacement is a top priority and a player of Pogba’s calibre more than fits the bill.
His personal vendetta against Ferguson is also a bonus. His quest to prove one of the greatest managers of all time wrong is something that makes a move to City all the more appealing, for both parties. Should City want to regain their Premier League title and avoid falling into a slump the likes of Man United have succumb to recently, the bank, the records, and anything else that can be broken, should be.
Signing Pogba would set Man City on the path to regaining their Premier League title. This, above all else, is why they should do everything in there power to make it happen.