With six goals in eight appearances in all competitions this season, Yaya Toure is proving once again just how integral a part he will play in Manchester City's bid for success in 2013/14.
The Ivory Coast international has already earned praise from new manager Manuel Pellegrini, following a series of dominant displays at the heart of City's midfield, with his most impressive performance coming in the 4-1 derby demolition of Manchester United last month.
Toure eclipsed the likes of Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini in the middle of the park at the Etihad Stadium, and has also drawn plaudits following his newfound ability as a set-piece specialist.
His proficiency from free-kicks has already been highlighted this campaign, after the 30-year-old netted impressive goals against Newcastle United, Hull City, and Wigan Athletic in the Capital One Cup, which has added another dimension to his already world-class game.
Last week, Pellegrini warned Manchester City's title rivals that Toure's imperious form was just the start, and that the former Barcelona star has the ability to improve even further.
"He is an excellent player," said the Chilean in an interview with the Daily Mail. "If he adds goals from free-kick, it is very important.
"A player can always improve more and Yaya is trying to do that."
Toure is being deployed as a defensive midfielder by Pellegrini, but also has the freedom to get forward and join in with attack.
His role is vital in Manchester City's bid to dominate teams by playing possession football, and the African enforcer's imposing presence, and unrivalled passing statistics this season show why he is the perfect player to patrol that area of the pitch, either side of the halfway line.
He is one of the best in the business at what he does; a view backed up by the fact that Toure has completed 290 forward passes in the Premier League in 2013/14 - more than any other player in England's top-flight.
Click through the tabs - above or below - to check out the top five forward passers in the EPL this season, and add any players you think are capable of breaking into this list in the comment box provided!
Thanks again to Squawka for providing the statistics!
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