Man City news: Paul Merson's 42-word verdict on Yaya Toure after signing from Barcelona

Yaya Toure Manchester City

Yaya Toure is one of the most highly acclaimed footballers to grace the Premier League. 

Toure is up there with David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany as one of the most influential players in Manchester City's history. 

The Ivory Coast international was one of the first marquee signings of City's new era under Sheikh Mansour's ownership, arriving from Barcelona in July 2010. 

His reported £221k-per-week salary raised plenty of eyebrows, but he went on to vindicate that extravagant agreement with his insatiable knack of finding the net and tendency to reserve his best performances for high stakes encounters. 

Toure proved his status as a clutch player by almost single-handedly ending City's 34-year wait for a trophy, scoring the respective winning goals in a pair of 1-0 wins over Manchester United and Stoke City in the semi-final and final of the 2010/11 FA Cup. 

All in Toure racked up a return of 79 goals and 50 assists in 316 appearances for the Citizens, including 94 goal contributions in 230 Premier League games. 

Though his agent Dimitri Seluk seemed determined to leave a bizarre stain on Toure's legacy, with his infamous birthday cake comments being the chief highlight, he'll be remembered as one of the all-time greats. 

But not everyone predicted him to be such a success. 

Following Toure's arrival at the Etihad Stadium, Paul Merson offered his verdict on City's decision to bring him to the club. 

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He was far from convinced by the new recruit and labelled him as an "average player" before suggesting that he wouldn't be able to bring goals or assists to the side. 

"The Ivorian is an average player who's rumoured to be on £200,000 a week! Does he score goals? No. Does he create them? No. Is he an OK holding midfielder? Yeah - but De Jong, Vieira and Barry do that job already!" 

A 42-word assessment that came to haunt Merson for the rest of his career.

To be fair to the regular TV pundit, the transfer induced plenty of scepticism and was initially perceived as a grossly overpriced deal for a player who hadn't commanded much popularity outside of Camp Nou during his three-year stint in Catalonia.

Even his initial performances at City lacked conviction, and it was only during the second half of the campaign when he truly began to flourish. 

Now immortalised in City's history books, we doubt Toure will be overly concerned by what Merson thought of him back in 2010. 

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