Wenger turned down Toure after friendly failure

Arsene Wenger has spoken of the ‘average’ performance that Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure made for Arsenal back in 2003, The Sun reports.

The younger brother of Kolo, Ivorian international Yaya was on trial with the Gunners when his big brother was at Arsenal. Toure faced Barnet in a friendly and his career could have been so much different had he performed better for the Gunners. Wenger played Toure in a second striker role and has confessed to how ‘completely average’ he played. Toure since then has gone on to play for Barcelona, win a Champions League medal and make a £24m move to Manchester City. The Ivorian is now seen as one of the best central midfielders in the Premier League.

Wenger said: ‘I have known him (Toure) since he was 15. We had an agreement with Yaya to come here, but the problem was that we had to wait long enough for a European passport. We knew at the time he would be a top-class player, but the only problem with Yaya was to fix him into a position, because he can play everywhere. He played in a pre-season game at Barnet as a second striker – and he was completely average on the day’.

Arsenal take on City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday and Wenger will face up to Toure, as well as former Gunners midfielder Samir Nasri. City defender Kolo Toure was also a favourite at the Emirates Stadium, before his move to City, and former Gunner Gael Clichy has been ruled out with suspension, so misses out on the chance to face his former club. A win for Arsenal would be huge for their title ambitions.

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