Manuel Pellegrini: Yaya Toure is always an 'important player' for Man City
Manuel Pellegrini insists that Yaya Toure's experience will be crucial in the final months of the season for Manchester City.
Toure will be back for Saturday's game against rock-bottom Aston Villa after he missed Wednesday's 3-0 defeat at Liverpool but the Ivorian's future at the Etihad is under scrutiny particularly with the imminent arrival of new boss Pep Guardiola in the summer.
The 32-year-old has been involved in six of City's eight Premier League defeats so far this season, and has been criticised for his attitude and work ethic. However, Pellegrini believes that Toure still demands respect for how he carries himself at the club.
"When Yaya plays you always ask me why I don't take him out," he told a news conference. "And when Yaya doesn't play you miss Yaya.
"I think over 90 minutes he brings quality and all the players trust in him because he makes an important difference.
"In the dressing room he is one of the few players with Martin Demichelis that has played a quarterfinal of the Champions League, so I think all of them are talking about that also, so he is important in the pitch and in the dressing room."
With Guardiola set to arrive at the end of the season, Toure's City future is uncertain as the Catalan was the one who sold him from Barcelona in 2010, but Pellegrini insists that the midfielder is a big player wherever he plys his trade.
"He will always be a very important player here -- in every club that he plays," he added. "I don't know [about the future] because I am not thinking about that and neither is Yaya. But in every team he plays he will be an important player."
Information from Manchester City correspondent Jonathan Smith was used in this report.