As Manchester City steamrollered their way through the good and the average of the Premier League last autumn, one potential stumbling block predicted was the absence of the Toure brothers at the African Cup of Nations.

While Kolo's departure as a squad player wasn't considered an issue at the time, the reliance on the surprisingly inept Stefan Savic in January certainly raised concerns at the back. Meanwhile the swashbuckling Yaya of 2011 never returned. Obviously signing Owen Hargreaves as a month-long replacement was an experiment that sadly failed.