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Yaya Toure leaves Spurs academy for assistant role in Belgium

Thanks for trainin’ up our kids, Yaya!

Spurs Charity XI v Celebrity XI
Yaya Toure playing for a Celebrity XI vs. Tottenham XI charity match in 2023.
Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Former Manchester City legend and budding manager Yaya Toure has left his role with Tottenham Hotspur’s academy today, according to Alasdair Gold. He is leaving for an assistant coaching position in Belgium.

The doomers are already dooming about this news, but while slightly disappointing I don’t find it especially surprising. Yaya actually has some history in Belgium — he came through the academy at Beveren, which in the early 2000s was one of the clubs that worked to bring through young talent from Cote d’Ivoire. So maybe a return to Belgium with Standard Liege isn’t too shocking.

Toure has had a role with Spurs since December 2021 when he started working on a part time basis with the academy with an eye towards earning his coaching badges. I believe Spurs gave him his first opportunity to coach after he hung up his boots. He joined the academy as a full time coach in 2022, and even turned down a full time managerial position with Wigan just a few months ago.

Spurs’ academy is currently without a director after the resignation of Dean Rastrick, and Ange Postecoglou is filling out his assistant coaching staff apparently without considering Yaya. Toure’s ambitious and this is a time of transition at the club, so it makes a bit of sense that he’d be potentially looking for new opportunities. And frankly, we don’t really know how good of a coach he is, or could be so your reaction to this news is likely based as much on his name recognition as it is on his coaching ability (which we don’t really know).

So whatever. It’s cool that our youngsters got a chance to work with a true legend in the game, but they still have Jermain Defoe at the club who can fill that role. There are enough changes happening to the academy structure at the moment that I’m confident they’ll be able to fill Yaya’s position with a quality candidate.

I just hope the club baked Yaya a birthday cake when he turned 40 in May.