The club v country row is hot news once again thanks to a tired Raheem Sterling, but Yaya Toure has given Manchester City a huge boost by returning from international duty ahead of schedule.
The 31-year-old had been playing, and scoring, for the Ivory Coast in an African Cup of Nations qualifying defeat against DR Congo but has made a quick return to England ahead of City's weekend clash with Tottenham.
According to The Mirror, Toure was not scheduled to return to City's training ground until Friday morning, but a quick exit from his homeland meant he was ready to take part in training at 11am Thursday.
Toure's commitment to the City cause will be music to the ears of manager Manuel Pellegrini, who could have faced somewhat of a midfield dilemma had his star man been unavailable.
Had Toure missed the visit of Spurs Pellegrini would have found himself lacking creative options in the centre of the park. Brazilian duo Fernandinho and Fernando both compliment Toure's attacking style perfectly, but would perhaps struggle as a creative force in his absence, paving the way for Frank Lampard.
The City loanee has an excellent record against Spurs from his 13-year Chelsea career, and although he's been in the goals for the Premier League champions, it's unclear whether or not he's capable of playing a full 90 minutes in the box-to-box fashion of Toure.
Already five points behind leaders Chelsea, City know they cannot afford to drop points and having Toure in their team gives them a much better chance of claiming victory.
Toure wasn't the only City star racking up the air miles during the international break. Sergio Aguero, Martin Demichelis and Pablo Zabaleta travelled to Hong Kong with Argentina, though only the latter actually was given any game time.
Closer to home, Edin Dzeko scored for Bosnia- Herzegovina in a 1-1 draw against a Belgium team skippered by City captain Vincent Kompany. Also on the scoresheet was David Silva, the Spaniard got the opening goal in a 4-0 win against minnows Luxembourg.
City's Serbian duo Aleksander Kolarov and Matija Nastasic were named in the starting line up against Albania in a game that lasted just 42 minutes before being abandoned.
Chaos ensued when an Albanian flag, attached to a drone, was flown over the pitch in Belgrade resulting in players, officials and fans all clashing on the pitch in some of the ugliest scenes witnessed on a football pitch in recent years.
Joe Hart had two much quieter nights, keeping clean sheets against San Marino and Estonia while Bacary Sagna and Eliaquim Mangala were both unused subs for France.
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