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Diawara looking to emulate Manchester City great Yaya Toure

Roma midfielder Amadou Diawara has mentioned Yaya Toure as a player that had an influence on him while growing up. 

The 37-year-old Ivorian is often regarded as one of the greatest Africans to grace the game having won multiple titles which include the Premier League, FA Cup, La Liga, Copa del Rey, Champions League, Club World Cup, Uefa Super Cup, across spells with Barcelona and Manchester City. 

Toure, who also played for Monaco and Olympiacos, has won the Africa Cup of Nations with Ivory Coast and has been named African Footballer of the Year a record four times in a row, the only player to achieve such a feat.

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Diawara also wears the number 42 jersey which Toure was known for during his time at Manchester City. It was reverse of the number 24 shirt he donned at Barcelona.

"He [Toure] was a great player and a symbol for all the Africans who play in this role," Diawara told Roma Radio.

"I liked everything about him, from the game vision to the tranquillity with the ball. He made me crazy as a child. I have to do a few more goals to look like him but with a little work I can get there."

Diawara was a summer signing from Napoli after he played for Guinea at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, where they reached the Round of 16 before bowing out to eventual champions Algeria with a 3-0 defeat. 

The transition has not been easy for the 22-year-old, who has played 20 times in all competitions and has largely had to deal with a meniscal injury which kept him out prior to the suspension of football activities due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"When I arrived at Roma I had no continuity of play, I was also hurt. I went to the Africa Cup of Nations, it helped me a lot and I came back even earlier to start working with my teammates," Diawara continued.

"It was not easy to immediately get into the mechanisms of the team, I waited for the moment knowing that when I found continuity I would not disappoint the Roma fans and it was like that."

With Serie A given the green light to return after lockdown restrictions from the coronavirus pandemic were eased, Diawara is keenly looking forward to the action. 

He, however, does believe that it will be like starting afresh, but he is also hopeful Roma make the top four which they are presently three points adrift of.

"When we get back on the field, it will be like at the beginning of the championship," the former Bologna player said.

"We come from a long stop, we trained at home. We will need the strength to start again and go a thousand to reach our goal. We hope to return to the field. If we play, our goal is to reach the top four."