Former Ivory Coast and Arsenal defender Emmanuel Eboue is happy to see midfielder and countryman Yaya Toure leave Manchester City, saying manager Pep Guardiola was ‘killing’ Toure’s career.
Toure was one of the Premier League champions’ most influential players after joining the club from Barcelona in 2010. The now-34-year-old played a key role in City’s League title successes of 2012 and 2014.
But he did not play a significant role last season because he had fallen down the pecking order, making only 16 appearances after signing a one-year contract extension. In May, Guardiola confirmed Toure would be leaving the club.
Eboue, who was in Uganda on outreach visits to various football academies, told KweséESPN in Kampala: “As a player, there is a time you completely cannot work with a coach and because of your future, you must go.
“It was evident Pep Guardiola did not like my brother Yaya right from the Barcelona days. It is the best decision for Yaya to get away from Guardiola’s territory because he was killing his career as a footballer.
“I think Yaya’s last one year has been hell because he was not playing enough. For a professional footballer that is very terrible.”
Toure and Guardiola’s relationship was a fractious one, with the player recently accusing the Spaniard of having a ‘problem with Africans,’ which Guardiola rubbished as ‘lies’ after initially refusing to comment.
Eboue added that the money on offer by mega-rich City was not a factor for Toure, as moving to a happier club environment was more important to a player, and that Toure would certainly find a new high-level home.
“Sometimes it’s not all about the money, but when your relationship as a player is not good with the manager and it does not seem like it will improve, it is always better to move elsewhere,” Eboue said.
“Yaya is a great player and leader and I think he still has some years to continue playing at the highest level. He is the kind of player who can turn things round and he always wants to win,” he added.
As for where Toure will play next, speculation has linked him to numerous Premier League sides, and he told BeIN SPORTS last week that a new deal was just days away from being announced.