It appears that every time I watch a FC Barcelona game these days, one player is constantly missing from the starting 11. His name: Yaya Toure.
I don't understand, and most likely will never understand, why Sergio Busquets is preferred over Toure. At this point it is obvious that Guardiola has his prized pupils like the aforementioned Busquets and Seydou Keita.
Still, I make the bold claim that neither of them was as crucial to the treble winning season as Yaya Toure. It is no coincidence that Toure is on the 30-man shortlist for the Ballon D'or. Where on this list is Busquets or Keita???
If Yaya Toure is not the best (yes I said the best) defensive midfielder around, he certainly is among the Top Three. Unlike Javier Mascherano, who many rate as a world-class player, Toure can actually distribute the ball further than 10 yards and posseses some nice dribbling skills.
Sergio Busquets is still an unfinished product and it'll take him a while to reach Yaya's level.
To be perfectly honest, Busquets makes me nervous. Right now he is Toure's deputy at best. Sometimes he seems like he is lost on the pitch. When Toure is in the side he frees up Xavi and Iniesta (please let Guardiola come to his senses and leave Keita out, San Andres is an attacking midfielder!!!) to do what they do best: torment the opposition.
In 2007 Barcelona bought Toure for a sum in the region of 10 million Euro. Now try to find a defensive midfielder that offers all the qualities Yaya brings to the table at that price. In the post-CR-inflated era his market value must be at least double that.
On more than one occasion Toure has stated that would like to end his career at Barcelona and his contract renewal was a vindication of that. Still Guardiola has opted to bench him in favor of Busquets for the opening matches of the current season.
I am firmly convinced that Yaya Toure has suitors all over Europe that would love to add him to their ranks. Arsenal London are playing a 4-3-3 these days, aren't they? Imagine what damage Cesc could do if Toure was his teammate.
Top-class defensive midfielders are a rare commodity, yet one of the very best rots on our bench.
He never (openly) complains, always does what he is asked to do, and usually gets the job done. What did the guy do to deserve this kind of treatment?