Gary Neville thinks Arsenal ‘could do worse’ than to bring in Yaya Toure on a free transfer over the summer, after Manchester City released the 35-year-old.
Speaking on Sky Sports, Neville argued that Toure has the sort of qualities Arsenal need to succeed.
“We’ve been talking about Arsenal about having that sort of strength of midfield, the character and the leadership,” he said. “To be fair they could do worse than maybe have him for a season to sort out the culture in there.
“In his first three or four seasons in the Premier League, he was outstanding, he was one of the most dominant forces.”
As mentioned, Toure is out of contract this summer. Arsenal wouldn’t have to pay a fee to pick him up, but would probably have to spend a significant amount on wages.
Then again, the player himself told the media recently he prefers to stay in England on lower wages than “to go to China or Abu Dhabi”. At least that means Arsenal would only have to compete with other Premier League clubs, rather than ridiculous outside offers from abroad.
Would Arsenal really want him?
Despite what Neville says about ‘strength of midfield’, Toure’s defensive contribution in recent years has been poor. At his age, having celebrated his 35th birthday on Sunday, he’ll want to focus on his game in possession. In fairness, he is still very good on the ball.
You’d have to surround him with more mobile midfielders though, and at least one to cover the defensive duties. I can’t imagine Xhaka, Ramsey and Toure making a particularly balanced midfield trio.
I’m happy to be proven wrong, but I wouldn’t go out and buy an Arsenal ‘Toure’ shirt just yet.