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Could Yaya Toure as a Number 10 work in the Premier League?

Ian Walton/Getty Images

Yaya Toure's impressive display against Sevilla in Tuesday 3-1 UEFA Champions League victory has led to questions as to whether or not Toure can be effective in a similar setup domestically. In the Sevilla match, Toure was deployed as a number 10 flanked by speedsters Raheem Sterling and Jesus Navas while Fernandinho played a box-to-box role and Fernando covered lots of space as a defensive midfielder.

A few items to consider:

  • Fernando is playing at an exceptionally high-level right now covering ground and allowing Toure not to have to track runners in open play. The Brazilian defensive midfielder has not always played so consistently well.
  • Sevilla was forced to attack from the outset of this game, leaving the Blues with plenty of space to exploit in a counter-attacking posture. This situation may not present itself in the Premier League as teams domestically tend to defend deep against Manchester City.
  • Toure tends to play better going forward this season when Wilfried Bony is starting as a striker. Bony is not only Toure's international teammate but also a better hold up player than Sergio Aguero who works well with Toure's movement.
Toure as a number ten in the absence of David Silva and Samir Nasri certainly has spots it can work in as a demonstrated on Tuesday. It's just not a consistent solution to the Blues attack when Silva is injured for the reasons outlined above.