TOURE IS ‘STILL VITAL’ TO CITY
PEP Guardiola insists Yaya Toure still has a major part to play for City this season – but refused to confirm if he will be recalled for today’s game against Watford.
Toure, who wasn’t seen with the rest of the squad as they flew out to Watford last night, has been omitted from City’s last two match day squads and didn’t travel to Rotterdam for Wednesday’s Champions League win against Feyenoord.
Guardiola mysteriously claimed the Ivorian knew the ‘reasons why’ he’d been frozen out – raising fresh doubts about his future.
But the City manager is adamant Toure remains an important part of his plans.
“We need him,” he said. “I need him and the team needs him. He was so important last season. He’ll be so important this season.”
Toure was frozen out of City’s first team and dropped from their squad for the group stages of the Champions League last season. But he forced his way back into Guardiola’s plans after issuing an apology for his agent Dimitri Seluk’s public criticism of the Blues manager.
He became a pivotal part of City’s midfield in the second half of the season, earning himself a new one-year deal.
Which is why his absence in the early weeks of this campaign has come as such a surprise.
Guardiola says he is now ready to welcome him back into the fold. But asked if Toure would feature against Watford, the manager offered no assurances, saying only: “We will see.”