Kolo Toure claims his “part-time” role at Manchester City has made him hungrier than ever to prove he is still one of the best defenders around.
The 32-year-old spoke to Liverpoolfc.com after finalizing his transfer on Tuesday afternoon.
Toure answered questions about why he chose Liverpool, how he felt to effectively be replacing club legend Jamie Carragher, the Brendan Rodgers‘ project and what his motivation was after a trophy-laden career with Arsenal and City.
“Liverpool have given me the chance to show that at 32 I’m still one of the best defenders, and I will fight for that,” said the Ivorian, who played 15 league games for Roberto Mancini last term.
“These past two years of being ‘part-time’ have helped me refresh and be more hungry.
“I want to try and help Liverpool win trophies this season.”
Toure has played with some of the best players in Premier League history, winning league titles with both Arsenal and City — but he still admits to feeling some nerves prior to his arrival at the training ground today.
“It’s like coming to a new school,” he said. “But as soon as I came, Steven Gerrard came up to me and told me that if I needed anything, I could come to see him. That shows the spirit and mentality of this club.
“The manager welcomed me when I came, and all the players as well. It’s really important to be part of a team that has spirit and togetherness and that’s what I see here.
“For a first day, I’m really happy.”
Toure will attempt to fill the hole vacated by Carragher, adding 11 years of top-flight experience to the squad.
Asked what he would offer, he said: “More talking, for sure! I like to lead when I’m on the pitch, I like to speak to the players and organize things.
“I know Jamie Carragher left the club and that’s the reason why I’m here. He was massive for this club, he was a great professional and a great example for me. I will try to do what he did but I think that’s going to be really difficult.
“It adds pressure because it’s always hard to replace a big, big player like Jamie. I’m looking forward to that because I like challenges.”
Toure will join Martin Skrtel, Daniel Agger and Sebastian Coates as the senior center-backs at Liverpool, and he knows he’ll have to fight for his place.
“I am used to competition,” he said. “When I came into Arsenal the competition was Sol Campbell, Martin Keown, Tony Adams — it was hard competition.
“The only way to improve a team is to make players fight for their place.”
Toure leaves his brother Yaya Toure behind at City — but the two haven’t spoken at length about Kolo’s move to Merseyside.
“I haven’t spoken to him yet really, because he’s been on holiday,” he explained. “But he’s going to be on his own there now. I wish him the best but I knew I had to leave City. I’ve come next door and that’s a great move for me.”
Photo via Liverpoolfc.com