Barkley or Pogba: Who should succeed Yaya Toure at Man City?

first_img Ross Barkley and Paul Pogba have been earmarked as potential long-term suitors to Yaya Toure by Manchester City. Manuel Pellegrini has stated that Premier League champions Manchester City have no intention of selling Yaya Toure, but at 31 the Ivorian is entering the twilight of his career and the need to plan for the future is now.On top of that, Toure’s form has been hit and miss so far this season, leading to speculation around who City might command the club’s midfield in years to come.Ross Barkley and Paul Pogba have been earmarked as potential long-term successors to the Ivory Coast international, with the pair among the most talented young midfielders in European, if not world football.But which of these potential targets should City prioritise? talkSPORT takes a look…Ross BarkleyDate of birth: 5 December 1993 (age 20)Born: Liverpool, EnglandClub: EvertonHonours: UEFA European U17 Championship – 2010International: Nine England capsBarkley burst on to the scene last season scoring six Premier League goals and his performances led to his inclusion in Roy Hodgson’s England squad for the World Cup, where he made his tournament bow in the Three Lions’ opening game defeat to Italy.The England international usually plays in a more advanced role at Goodison Park and is given license to roam forward, but he can also operate in a deeper central position as he did at times last season.Barkley has been dubbed the next Paul Gascoigne and City were reportedly quoted £50million for the Englishman following their interest in the summer.The 20-year-old doesn’t possess the same presence as Toure, but he isn’t afraid to take on and run at defenders and he was the highest ranked central midfielder for dribbles per game last season.However, Barkley failed to register a single assist last season which is surprising for an attacking midfielder, but given his age he has the potential to be one of the finest English midfielders of a generation.Paul PogbaDate of birth: 15 March 1993 (age 21)Born: Lagny-sur-MarneClub: JuventusHonours: Serie A (2) – 2013/14, 2013/14, FIFA U20 World Cup- 2013International: 20 France caps, five goalsPogba left Manchester United two years ago, after three years at the club, citing the lack of first-team opportunities and he has gone on to establish himself as one of Europe’s most sought-after-midfielders and was nominated for the best young player award at this summer’s World Cup.The France international, who has five goals in 20 appearances for Les Bleus, recently penned a new £70,000-a-week contract at Juventus taking him through to 2019, but that won’t end any transfer speculation given City’s financial muscle.Pogba is a dynamic box-to-box midfielder who has upped his goalscoring rate year on year, five league goals in his first year followed by seven last season and the fact he qualifies as a home-grown player following his three seasons at Old Trafford adds to the attraction of the Frenchman.The midfielder offers a mix of pace, power and technique and his effectiveness at both ends of the field is in the Toure mould.However, there is still room for improvement for the 21-year-old, as the midfielder had just a 42% shot and 83% pass accuracy last season.Who should City target?Both Barkley and Pogba would represent great buys with huge potential for the future. City possess an ageing squad, with an average age of 28.9, and either Barkley or Pogba would add youthfulness to the side.Barkley is the most exciting English talent in recent years, while Pogba is already playing at a level well beyond his years.If City did decide to pursue one of the two, Pogba looks the best fit in this City system and has a playing style that mirrors Toure.Ultimately, the pair could decide to remain at their current clubs, Pogba has signed a new deal and spoke about establishing himself as a Juve legend, while Barkley is Everton through and through and regular first-team football with the Toffees may be best for his progression.Man City fans, who would you prefer to sign between Barkley and Pogba? Comment below… 1last_img read more

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