Having played in the Premier League for 18 years, Frank Lampard has seen the very best that the game has to offer come and go.
In joining Manchester City for a season in 2014, the Englishman is well-placed to adjudge the departing Yaya Toure, who will make his final appearance for the Premier League champions tonight against Brighton.
The 34-year-old has won three league titles with the blue half of Manchester since his 2010 arrival, playing a huge role in the first two league wins in particular.
So much so, that Lampard rates him alongside the top players ever to grace the Premier League, as he wrote for the BBC.
“I would put Yaya Toure in the top five of the toughest midfield opponents I faced in my career, and at his peak he could change games on his own”, he wrote.
“Steven Gerrard probably edges it as the best I have played against, for his consistency over the years, but Yaya is up there along with Roy Keane, Patrick Vieira and Paul Scholes – which shows how highly I rate him.”
Toure has changed games on his own, as Lampard, then with Chelsea, found out in 2013.
“When I faced him, I knew he was very good on the ball and could pass it around me if he wanted to.
“But if you got too close to him to try to stop him doing that, he also had that ability to drive through midfield and his physical power and pace – which was deceptive because of his big stride – made it so difficult to stay with him.
“Either by making a one-two or just by facing me up and running straight past me, he would be gone.”
During his tenure at Manchester City, Toure has scored 82 goals in 315 appearances.