Kolo Toure has told the Liverpool Echo that he turned down a host of offers from other European clubs to stay at Anfield this summer, instead signing a new contract and extending his two-year stay on Merseyside.
The veteran defender, who we signed from Manchester City on a free transfer two summers ago, has only played a bit-part role under Brendan Rodgers – featuring 45 times in all competitions over the last couple of years.
However, the Ivory Coast star has become a popular figure at Anfield, among players and supporters alike. So when he was asked by the Echo why he chose to stay this summer, he responded with a pleasantly simple answer.
“I feel loved here,” he said. “Honestly, in the end the decision was really simple. There were other offers but I couldn’t leave one of the best clubs in the world. For me, to be able to be at Liverpool – playing for this manager and being part of this squad and playing for amazing fans – is massive.”
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Despite having the likes of Martin Skrtel, Mamadou Sakho and Dejan Lovren ahead of him in the pecking order, Toure also stated that he’s not here just to make up the numbers this season, and hopes that he can offer more than experience to his manager.
“I know I have a role to play in helping the younger players,” he continued. “I have a lot of experience but I’m not here just for that. I want to play football. And I’ll fight and give 100% every single day to show to the manager that I’m able to play. That’s what everyone has to do.
“We have two or three players for every position now. If someone is not fit then we’ve got someone ready to come in and play. You need that competition.”
Toure captained Liverpool during our first pre-season game of the new season, against the Thai All-Stars earlier this month, and is an outside bet to take the vice-captain’s role for the campaign itself.
It will be interesting to see how much we see of him in a playing capacity this season. But if there’s one thing that is for sure – it’s very hard not to like the guy!