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Yaya Touré's unexpected redemption might earn him a Champions League spot

What a story!

Crystal Palace v Manchester City - Premier League Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

This weekend saw the unlikely but ultimately successful return of Yaya Touré. The Twitterverse went into overdrive when Touré’s name was listed on last Saturday's team sheet for the game against Crystal Palace. Despite Touré finally apologising to Guardiola not many expected to see him playing for our beloved Blues again. Even as recently as last week, Touré’s brother Kolo was suggesting Yaya should just leave and go to a place where people love him.

After his two-goal winning performance the cynics among us assumed he and City were just showcasing him in the shop window for January. Then Guardiola commented in his post-match interview that he might consider Touré for the next Champions League squad. This has been a remarkable turnaround.

One of the main reasons why Guardiola was not selecting Touré was because the midfielder's agent, Dimitri Seluk, had insisted Touré had been humiliated by not being selected for the Champions League in the first place. After just one game he now has a chance to play in the knockout stages, when a new squad of 25 players can be registered.

Our manager has been subtle with his choice of words in front of the press. He now realises Touré is an asset to the squad particularly as he is now at the "perfect weight". Guardiola praised Touré and added how his teammates “loved him”. If Yaya was considering leaving, he must now be reconsidering with the prospect of more games and future Champions League participation now a possibility.

Considering Touré’s age, salary and contract status there appears to be little achieved in his sale. Keeping him motivated is key but by not selecting him since August, Guardiola has shown everyone he’s the boss.