The late, great David Potter started a feature of writing about a Player of the Day from Celtic’s illustrious history. In order to do continue that legacy and pay a small tribute to David, we will continue profiling a Celtic Player of the Day…
Kolo Toure was signed by Celtic in the summer of 2016 and he would go onto make 17 appearances for the Scottish Champions before hanging up his boots.
Making his name with Arsenal, Toure spent seven years in North London working under Arsene Wenger. Making 326 appearances, Toure was an invincible and contributed to the club’s success at that time. This prompted interest from City, who moved for him in 2009. The cash-rich Northerners were keen to bolster their squad with talent and experience, of which Toure had in abundance. The central defender played his part in his four year stay in Manchester, making 82 appearances as City won the FA Cup and Premier League crown.
At the end of his contract with City, Brendan Rodgers signed Toure for his experience with his young team. The squad would narrowly miss out on winning the Premier League owing to that infamous slip from Steven Gerrard. Across the course of his time in Liverpool, Toure was a useful squad player and his experience at three of England’s top clubs was enviable.
Toure was a free-agent after leaving Liverpool with Jurgen Klopp putting his own stamp on the Merseyside giants. In deciding his next steps, Toure appeared to be intent upon pursuing somewhere that had coaching opportunities and offered a suitable outlet for his experience.
New Celtic boss Rodgers signed the Ivorian defender on a one year contract as he attempted to shore up the defence. It was a deal that made sense for all parties, Rodgers got someone in that he knew and the team were given another seasoned pro.
Toure made his debut in the UEFA Champions League Qualifier win over Astana and then in the Premiership against Hearts, both games ending 2-1 with late goals for Rodgers’ team. It was a marriage that was particularly happy between Kolo and Celtic. He helped the team qualify for the Champions League Group Stages, getting stuck in Be’er Sheva as Celtic resisted a second leg collapse against the Israelis.
The big fella started with Erik Sviatchenko as Rodgers brushed Rangers aside, winning 5-1 in the first Glasgow Derby. Into October, Toure’s involvement in two goals for Borussia Monchengladbach raised some suspicions that he may be past his best but the seasoned pro stuck at it, continuing to help the team push forward. Sviatchenko and Toure would find themselves displaced by Jozo Simunovic and Dedryck Boyata becoming the preferred partnership at the back as Celtic clinched an Invincible Treble.
Toure would hang up his boots before joining the coaching staff under Rodgers and follow him to Leicester City as a Technical Coach. This was a role that he held until taking the Wigan Athletic manager’s job in late 2022.