Yaya Toure, a hero for Manchester City, has been training with the England Under-21 team as they get ready to play Italy on Thursday and Germany on Tuesday in friendly international fixtures.
The 39-year-old has previously worked as an assistant for Olimpik Donetsk of the Ukrainian Premier League and for Akhmat Grozny of Russia, where he is currently finishing up his coaching badges at Tottenham. With each of his previous jobs, he lasted for a total of under six months until he departed.
Jermaine Defoe joined the Spurs this summer, and in March, Toure announced his retirement from professional football to focus on coaching. The Ivorian has continued to grow by participating in several training sessions with England’s promising young players at St. George’s Park.
The Daily Mail reports that Toure has joined Lee Carsley’s team in Burton. As part of his preparation for coaching, he is observing the U21 coaching staff.
Toure’s ex-City colleague Joleon Lescott is on the coaching staff, and the Young Lions have already qualified for the European Championships in the summer of 2018. Reports indicate that his presence at the National Football Centre has benefited Carsley’s team by giving them exposure to elite competition.
Toure, a former ace for City, scored over 100 goals throughout his playing career thanks to his exceptional poise on the ball and his ability to drive from midfield with his long strides. Premier League players like Conor Gallagher, Morgan Gibbs-White, James Garner, and Jacob Ramsey, who all show promise, will benefit from his guidance.
Toure’s style of play is mirrored by Aston Villa’s Aaron Ramsey, who, like Toure, makes lung-bursting runs into the box and has a fantastic goal-scoring knack. Other notable stars like Anthony Gordon and Harvey Elliott have been named to England U21’s roster for their upcoming pair of exhibition games.
To continue their preparations for the 2019 European Championship, Carsley’s men will travel to Italy on Thursday night, just like the senior side, and then host Germany five days later. When asked about his goals for the U21s back in June, the ex-Birmingham City midfielder said, “It’s crucial to re-establish the Under-21s as a force.
It’s something that has faded away from us, a time when we were perhaps afraid. We must find ways to harness that potential and use it to our advantage in future contests. That needs to be the test, not only for the players but for the entire organization.
This group, I’ve found, is quite competitive. Someone is pushing them at their clubs. We have to make sure that thing keeps developing.