Former Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure recently talked about why he was not happy with Gary Southgate's treatment of Raheem Sterling, why people should walk off the field if they are racially abused and a possible return to the English Premier League.
While talking to a local media outlet, Toure said that he was not happy with the way England manager Gary Southgate treated Sterling after he was dropped for England's European 2020 qualifier against Montenegro following an altercation with teammate Joe Gomez. He further added that people were blowing the issue out of proportion as such an incident is a normal occurrence in training and said that Southgate should take him back in the team as it will not be good for the player's mentality to be left out.
He also drew a comparison between Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane and said that at this time Sterling is undoubtedly the best player between the two. Toure said that for a young player to be in such a situation alongside having the pressure of performing at both domestic and international levels topped with racial abuses in games such as England's game against Bulgaria can have a negative mental effect on him.
Toure said that Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola, might be a little disappointed with the way the situation has played out. He then said that it was a manager and his player acted like the way Sterling did, he would be very happy because he would get the feeling that his player wanted to win and achieve things.
Yaya Toure stated that he had been subject to racial abuses during his time as a player at Ukranian club, Metalurh Donetsk in 2003 and strongly said that the only way to make people aware especially the officials about what the targetted player was going through, was to walk off the field that very moment.
He said that walking off the field would convey a very strong message to FIFA and UEFA and show them that each and every player has importance. Toure said that things can take a better turn only with proper representation of what was going on and maybe prompt FIFA to take some action.
The midfielder left Manchester City in the year 2018 and had a short stint with Olympiacos and recently helped his current team, Qingdao Huanghai, back in the Chinese Super League.
Today we made history 🙌🏾— Yaya Touré (@YayaToure) October 26, 2019
Promotion!!! Next season Qingdao Huanghai FC will be where they should be... the Chinese Super League!!! 🎉
I’m proud to help make this happen but I want the title....!!!!
One more game to go 🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/Pm5eDGjzqq
Toure said that he was open to a return to the Premier League as he felt that he has 1 or 2 years more to offer in the English top flight. He said that it all depends on the team that offers him a contract and also depends on what they want to achieve. He is also open to a return as a player-coach as football is and will always be a part of his life.
(With inputs from agencies)