Lagos boy Dele-Bashiru’s idol and role model is an AFCON and multiple Premier League winner

Nigerian midfielder Fisayo Dele-Bashiru has settled in at his new club Lazio, and in his first official interview, he revealed his long-standing admiration for Manchester City legend Yaya Touré.

“My idol growing up was Yaya Touré,” Dele-Bashiru declared, referencing the influential midfielder who dominated the Premier League during his time at Manchester City. “So I'd say I'm a box-to-box midfielder. I like to run, I like to take shots. I idolized Touré growing up, that's who I like to play like.” he told Lazio official channel

Yaya Touré's time at Manchester City cemented his legacy as one of Europe's elite midfielders. Arriving from Barcelona in 2010, he became a cornerstone of the club's success. Over his eight-year Etihad reign, Touré amassed a trophy cabinet overflowing with Premier League titles (3), FA Cups (1), and League Cups (2).

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Touré's individual brilliance was also recognized with a remarkable four African Footballer of the Year awards and two inclusions in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year. A midfield powerhouse, he racked up an impressive 80 goals in 316 appearances across all competitions, placing him just outside Manchester City's top ten all-time scorers.

This admiration for Touré's style of play is a clear indicator of what fans can expect from Dele-Bashiru at Lazio.

The Nigeria international thrives in a box-to-box role, influencing both ends of the pitch with his tireless work ethic and attacking intent. Having been part of the Citizens' youth setup, he has undoubtedly been exposed to a playing style heavily influenced by Touré's dominance in the midfield.

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Fisayo Dele-Bashiru sets the record straight

While settling into his new surroundings, Dele-Bashiru also took the opportunity to clarify a misconception about his birthplace.

“I was born in Lagos in Nigeria,” he said. There had been some confusion regarding his birthplace, with many reports mistakenly listing it as Hamburg, Germany.

The Lazio midfielder, however, has firmly set the record straight, confirming his Nigerian roots. “I don't know why it says Hamburg.”

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Toyosi Afolayan

Toyosi Afolayan is a sports journalist who breathes life into the games we love. He loves to combine insightful analysis with historical background, creating a richer understanding of sports. Afolayan's expertise ranges from captivating narratives to live broadcasts, captivating audiences across platforms like Ojbsport, AllNigeriaSoccer, TVC Entertainment, Bounce Networks, Kwara TV, ICIR, EaglesTracker, and NFF TV. His background in History and International Studies adds depth, revealing the connections between sports, politics, and national identity.