Manchester City’s Ivorian midfielder Yaya Toure reacts during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on December 18, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Oli SCARFF /
Yaya Toure admits he feels reborn after returning from exile to play a key role in Manchester City’s Premier League title challenge.
Toure, 33, appeared destined to leave City after being frozen out by new manager Pep Guardiola earlier in the season.
But the Ivory Coast midfielder has enjoyed a remarkable renaissance in the space of just six weeks.
Surprisingly brought in from the cold by Guardiola after the resolution of a row with his agent in November, Toure has regained his old place at the heart of City’s midfield engine room.
The former Barcelona star delivered his latest impressive display as City overcame Hull 3-0 at the KCOM Stadium on Boxing Day to stay in touch with leaders Chelsea.
“I look like a kid, just enjoying playing football and helping my team-mates and the fans. It’s very important to me,” Toure said.
“I’m used to winning Premier Leagues, and I think it’s second two times, and I want to win another.
“I know it’s going to be tough but we have to keep going because Chelsea are very good this year.”
Toure broke the deadlock against Hull with a 72nd minute penalty after Andrew Robertson fouled Raheem Sterling and City remain in good shape ahead of this weekend’s crucial clash with title rivals Liverpool.
Toure is looking forward to the Anfield showdown and he said: “For me it’s almost a ‘final’ of the Premier League because I think it’s going to be a similar kind of football.
“I think for the fans it’s going to be fantastic.”