Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola indicated on the eve of his club's Champions League campaign that Yaya Toure has not done enough on the training pitch to justify a single minute's football this season.
That was further compounded by the fact he became the first player to complete 100 passes in the Premier League this season.
Pressed on why Toure has stayed behind in Manchester, the Spaniard told reporters at Tuesday's press conference: "I spoke with him, he knows the reason why". It depends on the player'.
The Brazilian is in second with a pass completion rate of 88% but it was David Silva who finished top after the Liverpool game with 90%.
There is no suggestion Toure is injured, but speculation is mounting that Guardiola is less than impressed with his attitude and application on the training ground.
Guardiola was careful to temper his own joy after two such comprehensive wins.
"He's a top, top quality player".
"He's so young and he is able to achieve and when he does, he will become an exceptional central defender".
Toure and Guardiola worked together briefly at Barcelona, but only for the 2009-10 season. City have a League Cup game against West Brom next week which could present an opportunity for some players to be rested and a chance for Guardiola to rotate the side. Against Liverpool, with 11 v 11 the game was equal.
Afterwards, a man who has coached the likes of Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Toni Kroos and Robert Lewandowski, reserved high praise for City's number 17.
'I think the English teams are a step back in that respect, ' he said. He can put it on a plate for you. We are so proud and so happy he's with us.
There were concerns about whether Toure would be wanted when Guardiola was announced as the new City boss and the player's agent Dimitry Seluk didn't help with critical comments about the incoming new coach.
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