Kolo Toure, who has been linked with Liverpool in recent days, has completed a remarkable comeback season. The central defender’s recent seasons were characterized by drug suspensions, alleged salacious affairs and uneven play. However in the 2012-13 season, Toure proved a lifesaver for a City side that was struggling with injuries and consistency at the back.
Club captain Vincent Kompany had a down season and Toure often had to fill in due to injuries or suspension. While Toure had appeared nervy and mistake prone in an early season 2-2 draw at Anfield, the rest of the season – when called upon - he showed a tactical understanding and reading of the game that helped a side that often lost its shape at the back early in matches.
Considering how poor Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel were all season, it’s no mystery why Brendan Rodgers would consider Toure. A player who has earned multiple Premier League medals, the veteran Ivorian can prove a winning influence in a dressing room that does not contain many players who have achieved high level Premier League success. Toure’s influence in the dressing room has been lauded by Manchester City players the past few seasons and his ability to come off the bench cold and play at a high level is a significant asset.
Tactical flexibility also characterizes Toure. He still has the speed and awareness to play in a 3-5-2, a formation Rodgers has experimented with this past season. Toure stood out in multiple matches where Roberto Mancini switched formations in the middle of the match.
Given the weak state of defending Liverpool demonstrated this season, Toure’s signing on a free can only be a plus. Liverpool is not far away from being a top four side if the central defence is upgraded this summer. Toure, whose form recovered in 2012-2013, is a worthwhile gamble for Rodgers.