Kolo Toure

{Profile Posted 23/05/13}

Date of Birth: - 09/03/1981

Height: - 1.83m

Position: - CB (has played, and can play RB and CDM)

Nationality: - Ivorian

Current Club: - Manchester City

Estimated Market Value: - Free this summer

Linked with: - Liverpool

General Comments:

PLAYER PROFILES ARE BACK. We are very sorry that we havent managed to get any player profiles up recently, been its been very busy for all us Eds. I know myself that I am getting into a slightly less crowded period, so expect a profile a week in the next month, before a few a week when the transfer window re-opens.

Anyway, I have decided to do Kolo Toure as the returning profile, as he is a marmite player, it seems, for many Liverpool fans at the minute. It is only a brief profile, but it outlines the main strengths and weaknesses in his game, and highlights why I believe he would be a very good signing for us.

Firstly, lets look at what the departing Jamie Carragher does for us. He reads the game well, has lots of experience, leadership qualities, good in the tackle and strong.

Thats exactly what Kolo Toure brings to his game. You only have to look at his stats (which unfortunately arent on this profile yet, but will be. I just wanted to get it posted up, to show we hadnt totally forgotten about you.) Anyway, he has played over 100 International matches. He has made around 400 Premiership appearances. He has played in the Champions League. He just oozes experience, and, dare I say it, perhaps has more top quality match experience.

We also hear of people saying they want signings to be of players who are winners. Rodgers himself talks about this - he wants to sign players who know how to win. And Toure, 2 times Premiership winner definitely brings this to whoever he plays for. He also has those leadership qualities which people are screaming out for. The main reason that Skrtel was dropped was because he didn't have those leadership qualities. Carragher came in and our defence gradually got better and better over the season. Toure, a 3 captain of three different teams in his time will bring the required leadership qualities, in terms of experience and organisation that is needed.

As a player, he may be getting on, but he isnt a bad player. He is a tank of a player, so is very strong. A similarish build to Andre Wisdom I would suggest (to compare him to a player Liverpool fans would know well). He will add that bit of strength we have been missing, truth be told, in both boxes over the years.

He is also strong in the tackle, granted, like Carragher he isnt the quickest in a foot race, but he does read the game well. The top players generally do. Therefore, we wouldnt lose out in any meaty tackles at the back.

He is also a very versatile player, who has played at both RB and CDM in his career. This both means that he would be good to help cover with injuries, and also to help shuffle tactics up; but it means that he has the skills needed to be a defender in our back 4. For Liverpool, the back 4 really need to be able to pass well. It is something that Skrtel cannot do, and Carragher can. A Toure like player would mean that we can continue to pass out of the back, accurately too!

However, I understand that people do worry if a deal for Toure were to go

ahead. Firstly, he would be on high wages, lower than at Manchester City, but nevertheless, high wages, roughly 80k per week. It is high, but Carragher would have been on a similar sort of wage, and getting rid of fringe players will help to cover increase in wages too.

We also have to remember that he is on a free transfer, so we wont be shelling out millions for a player who could potentially fail, on a higher wage, and we get back less money than we spent on them. Toure would be a no loss situation.

His age is also a concern. But what do we need at the back. Leadership and experience. Its hard to get a player who is young and has that. IF you do, they usually cost millions as well. At 32 however, he is not that old, probably just around the peak age for a defender, and will have a few more years left in the tank.

On the playing front, he will have lost a yard of pace. But again, like Carragher, he will be able to utilise his good reading of the game to be able to counter his lack of pace. Carragher didnt suffer because of a lack of pace, so it shouldnt effect Toure either.

People also mention the fact that he may be taken away by the African Cup of Nations. Well there isnt one for a couple of years, and by the time the next one comes, he may have retired, or no longer be first pick (for either club or country).

Would Toure cut it at Liverpool?

Yes, I believe he would, for the simple reason that he replaces those lost qualities of Carragher. We need experience, strength, leadership qualities, but dont want to take a huge risk on a player in terms of costs. What better than a free transfer, for a player who has won the best league in the world twice, been part of the invincibles, been capped over 100 times, and captained many teams. I believe he brings all of those qualities that we need, and granted, he is on high wages and has lost a yard of pace, but he still brings just what we need.

Summary of Toure:

Strengths: Experience, strength, leadership, good in the tackle, reads the game well, been a captain (leadership), versatile, and a good passer.

Weaknesses: High wages, age (although goes hand in hand with experience), slower, not played much recently.

The Business End of the Profile:

In terms of what has happened so far, the deal really seemed to come right from left field. Although a deal isnt done like many people seem to be reporting, we have spoken to Toures agent, and a deal could be wrapped up after he has returned with Manchester City from America.

Many thanks. I again apologise for a lack of profiles, but hope to bring you some more, high quality reports soon!!

{A profile by Ed052}