Kolo Toure - tough as teak

football17 March 2023 05:00| © Mzansi Football
By:Mark Gleeson
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Manchester City: 81/2
Liverpool: 46/1
Premier League titles (2): 2003/04, 2011/12

Toure had a distinguished career in the Premier League that stretched over 14 seasons and saw him play for three of its biggest clubs.

The Ivorian defender was involved in two of the most famous Premier League title wins and played his part in each, earning himself legend status.

Born in Bouaké, he made the unusual move direct from Ivorian side ASEC Mimosas to the Premier League as he joined Arsenal in February 2002 for £150,000 as a raw 21-year-old. 

But he quickly adapted to life in England and from the start of the 2002/23 season was a regular in The Gunners’ side.

He played all but one game in Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ season the following year as they won the league without losing a match, and would go on to spend seven years in the first team. Barring injury he was always a regular.

It was a little bit of a surprise then when he made the switch to Manchester City for £14-million in 2009/10, and given his small initial fee, service to Arsenal and the fee paid by City, he must be pound-for-pound one of the best buys in Premier League history.

He was a part of the City side that claimed a dramatic league title in 2011/12 when Sergio Aguero scored a last second goal on the final day of the season, but his time at the club was also marred by a failed drugs test and six-month ban.

He moved to Liverpool on a free transfer for the 2013/14 campaign and spent three seasons there before joining Scottish side Glasgow Celtic in 2016.