Kolo Toure Snubs Trabzonspor After Brendan Rodgers' Plea to Stay at Liverpool

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistAugust 13, 2014

Kolo Toure's 12-year stay in the Premier League looks set to extend into a 13th season after the Liverpool defender revealed he rejected the advances of Trabzonspor.

Toure told Sport Ivoire (via talkSPORT) it was Brendan Rodgers who convinced him he was still needed at Anfield:

I had talks with the coach who clearly indicated that I was part of his plans. It is a privilege to be at Liverpool. I am very happy to wear the shirt of this legendary club.

I feel good physically. At 33 years of age, I am ready for any challenge. It is because I have been spared from serious injuries during my career.

I continue to work hard in training to keep up the momentum, and it is why the coach wants to keep me at Liverpool. Trabzonspor are interested in me, but I have expressed my pleasure at being a Liverpool player.

Yes, it is always a possibility to join a lower league for more playing time, but I am a competitor and I decided to stay at Liverpool.

The Ivorian defender has fallen down Liverpool's pecking order this summer following Rodgers' capture of Dejan Lovren from Southampton. With Mamadou Sakho and Martin Skrtel also providing competition for a centre-back slot, Toure's playing opportunities appear bleak.

Rodgers' squad has developed too fast for a player of Toure's calibre, according to B/R UK's Karl Matchett:

However, Liverpool will be competing across four competitions this term, and it is perhaps the heavy schedule that prompted Rodgers to ask Toure to stick around.

The former Arsenal man's spell with the Reds so far is perhaps best defined by a couple of memorable mistakes.

Toure, now 33, doesn't possess great energy and has lost his agility over the years, while he has grown more and more susceptible to switching off in key moments.

Liverpool fans will remember Toure's ill-timed pass to Victor Anichebe during the Reds' away fixture with West Brom last term.

The former Everton striker latched onto the ball and netted the equaliser in a 1-1 draw that would eventually come back to haunt Liverpool's title hopes. Many blame Steven Gerrard's slip against Chelsea for Liverpool's inability to capture the league, but two of the three points needed to oust Manchester City were also thrown away at the Hawthorns.

Toure scored an own goal just 10 days after this mistake in February, although Gerrard managed to secure a hard-fought victory from the penalty spot against Fulham. Noticeable sharpness has gone from Toure's game, but he'll seek to provide reliable back-up when called upon by the Reds.

Trabzonspor finished fourth in the Turkish Super Lig last season, a massive 19 points off runaway leaders Fenerbahce. The prospect of leaving Premier League title contenders for such an outfit would arguably have made Toure's decision to stay that much easier.

New boss Vahid Halilhodzic heads into the hot seat after an impressive World Cup with Algeria. He has quickly improved the squad with the signing of players including Oscar Cardozo, Kevin Constant and Essaid Belkalem, as reported by Transfermarkt.

Toure was undoubtedly eyed to become one of the squad's natural leaders after a long and successful career in England. However, their ambitious bid has seemingly failed.

Rodgers will go into the new campaign, as it stands, with five hugely experienced centre-backs. Toure won't be expected to play many games, but he boasts a winner's mentality, and his character could be invaluable in the Reds' dressing room this season. 

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