Powerhouse midfielder with a knack for important goals
Yaya began his career as a youth with Ivorian side ASEC Mimosas in 1996 before he moved to Beveren aged 18 in 2001, spending two full seasons with the Belgian side before joining Ukrainian side Metalurg Donetsk in 2003.
After further spells with Olympiakos and Monaco enhanced his reputation yet further, Yaya became the first Ivorian to be signed by Barcelona who paid around £9m for his services in 2007.
In 2009, he won the Champions League with the Catalans, employed by Pep Guardiola as an emergency centre-half and he celebrated his second successive La Liga title with Barca before jetting off to South Africa for the 2010 World Cup, his second having been part of the 2006 squad in Germany.
After 118 appearances with the Spanish giants and almost 300 career appearances under his belt, he agreed to move to City where he would become one of the most influential midfielders the Club has ever had.
He chose the No.42 shirt in honour of one of his idols Patrick Vieira, who was still wearing the No.24 jersey at City, Yaya’s first campaign with the Blues saw him inspire the Club to a first major trophy for 35 years.
The Ivorian scored the goal that settled the Manchester derby FA Cup semi-final at Wembley and it was Yaya again who scored the winner in the final against Stoke.
Yaya was inspirational again in the 2011/12 season, continuing his knack of making key contributions at crucial moments.
He scored vital goals against Newcastle in City's penultimate game of the season to put Roberto Mancini's men within touching distance of the league crown, which, of course, the Blues dramatically won a week later.
The multiple African Football of the Year was named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year in 2012 and in 2012/13 he scored 10 goals in 32 appearances.
He easily surpassed that figure in a monumental 2013/14 title-winning campaign, with his 24 goals from 49 games deservedly winning him the MCFC Player of the Year award.
His spectacular goal in the Capital One Cup final that season was also among the best seen at the new Wembley Stadium.
Though no silverware followed in 2014/15, Yaya still contributed to finishing runners-up with 12 goals from 37 appearances, and in 2015/16, he found the net eight times in 42 matches.
A man for the big occasion, Yaya’s contribution at City has been immense and he richly deserves his place among the Club’s all-time greats.