And so we examine another player today who could be heading to the Etihad as a possible replacement for Toure. With the Ivorian wanting to leave City during the summer and his subsequent performances on the pitch, rumors have been rife about him leaving the Etihad in the January transfer window. And we think that Asier Illaramendi could be a suitable replacement for Toure.
The Real Madrid midfielder is a Spanish under 23 international, aged 24 who has won the Champions league with Real Madrid. He was signed from Real Sociedad for €34 million (the highest amount paid for a Spanish player by the Club) and has appeared 33 times for the Spanish giants. Funny enough, Man City were interested in him last season and had offered him a bumper payday but he had refused and instead signed for Real Madrid and, it’s no wonder that City might still want to go back for him. Often described as the next “Xabi Alonso”, Illaramendi who attended same academy that Alonso graduated from, “La Real”, he is a defensive midfielder who is seen as a threat when it comes to setting up attacks from the back; he is a skilled passer and breaks down attacking moves from opponents. He is also described as having the “ability to lob balls over the defense”.
Considering his young age, and his talent, he should be able to walk right into the City squad and fill Toure’s shoes easily. Eventually he would develop into the all round midfielder Toure is, but right now, not only can he serve as a replacement for Toure conveniently, he will add to the list of stars who are plying their trade with Man City, giving credence to the club’s status as an elite club. If eventually, he signs for Man City, he will certainly be a star player for them, due to his abilities. With the attractive football that City plays, he could fit right in easily and will certainly be instrumental in further success for the club. Having Illaramendi, Fernandinho/Fernando and Silva starting together will be a joy to behold, and the attacking instinct of the team will be more fluid, with Illaramendi being able to start an attacking run from deep within his own half, and Silva creating space with his movement on and off the ball. This is exactly how it is being done right now with Toure being the instigator for attacks. But a comparison in what Toure and Illaramendi have to offer the team will be experience on the part of Toure and youth on the part of Illaramendi. This comparison suggests that replacing Toure with Illaramendi will be a logical step on the part of City and there won’t be any disruption or need for the manager to change the style of play of City. The only obstacle to this deal happening will be Real Madrid’s willingness to sell a player who they regard as the future of their club.