Rodgers applauds new defender
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has hailed the arrival of Kolo Toure, who has enjoyed a fine start to his career on Merseyside.
Rodgers added to Sky Sports that in Toure he believes the Reds have found a replacement not only for the retired Jamie Carragher but for the experience and leadership qualities that left the club with the Anfield legend.
He was signed from Manchester City in the summer as a free agent in the wake of Carragher’s departure after Rodgers conceded defeat in trying to convince the veteran defender to play on for one more season.
And having plied his trade in the Premier League for over a decade, being a member of Arsene Wengers “invincibles” in 2004 and City’s title winning squad, the 32-year-old arrived with bucket loads of experience.
His debut for Liverpool came last week in the opening round of Premier League matches and as it turned out it couldn’t have been more of a test of his attributes.
Liverpool were pitched up against Stoke City in front of a watchful Anfield crowd, eager to see how Toure would fit in and handle Stoke’s notorious physical approach.
It was a very accomplished debut, showing all his experience as Liverpool dominated and also when they came under increasing pressure in the final quarter of the game.
Toure was also very impressive at Villa Park yesterday as Liverpool recorded a second successive clean sheet and 1-0 victory.
The big Ivorian’s seemingly easy transition into the club and first team prompted Rodgers to add: “He is a good man.
“He is funny to watch sometimes when he is running about, he has always got a smile on his face.
“One thing he has got is a winning mentality. He has got great belief in what we are doing here.
“His first leap against Peter Crouch just shows you the fitness and power he still has.
“When he goes up for corners he looks like he can score. I think we have got a player who is very hungry still to do well.
“He respects everything about this great club, it is a huge privilege for him to be here. He is here to perform and do well.
“He is certainly a character and offers great leadership on the field, which is primarily what we got with Carra.”
With the news that Uruguayan centre back Sebastian Coates has picked up a knee injury that will keep him out for most of the season, Toure’s presence will be ever more valuable now.
However, Rodgers might need to dip into the transfer market again for another centre back as Liverpool now find themselves light at the back.
Either way, Toure’s experience has become invaluable to Liverpool now.