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Yaya Touré's contract extension more than just honoring a Manchester City legend

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Yaya still has football left, and Pep Guardiola wants him around

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Watford v Manchester City - Premier League Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

You probably know by now that Yaya Touré has signed a new one-year contract and will remain a Manchester City player next season. The Ivorian was the only player with an expiring deal this summer to be offered an extension, and that's a big statement from Pep Guardiola.

Pablo Zabaleta is a club legend, Willy Caballero has done a solid job as a backup keeper, and Jesús Navas enjoyed a rebirth as a full-back. Any of those three had good reasons to stick around, but the truth is they just aren't good enough to be part of the squad Guardiola wants to put together.

Touré getting a new deal is more than just a way of honoring his legacy and having him around for one more season to be a legend in training and welcome the new players. That is one of the reasons, sure, but Zabaleta could claim he could get a new contract for the same reason.

No, Touré has gotten a new contract because he still is a really freaking good football player. Even at the age of 35, Yaya has proven he can still play at a world-class level. We didn't see the Touré who could run at people and score amazing goals while showing off his strength. Instead he became a holding midfielder with one clear duty: link defense to attack and be a defensive presence in midfield while David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and Leroy Sané did the job of creating.

It's a very different Touré compared to the one we've seen for so many years, but it's still a spectacular Touré who earned a new contract and showed he's good enough to be part of a Pep Guardiola squad.

That's the best part of all of this: Guardiola is clearly setting a very high standard for his group of players this summer, and the fact that Pep is not bringing a Young Yaya to his team shows he still counts on Touré to run midfield next season. Yaya has a value that goes beyond being an aging club legend: he can still play at a high level.