Liverpool have been left wanting for recent signings, but the early parts of the summer saw them lead the way in the transfer market, bringing in four players by early July. We got to see three of the four in action in yesterday's opener, with Simon Mignolet starting in goal, Kolo Toure partering Daniel Agger in central defense, and Iago Aspas working throughout the forward areas with Daniel Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho, and, at times Jordan Henderson.
With Brendan Rodgers again confirming that the club are looking to bring in "one or two" more names before the window, hopefully we have a chance to welcome another impact signing into the fold, but after yesterday's win, I think there's reason to be optimistic about those who've already had a chance to make an impact.
Simple question for the day after, then--of Aspas, Toure, and Mignolet, who were you most impressed with?
Each had some sort of positive impact, with Aspas linking up well in attack and providing a handful of nearly moments; his layoff for Henderson would have led to a goal were it not for the intervention of Asmir Begovic's fingertips, and he had a few chances of his own to finish. Mignolet provided what should prove to be the moment of the opening weekend and one that may well end up as one of the club's moments of the season with his late double-save, inspiring an outpouring of emotion from the squad that we haven't seen in a long time. He flapped early and wasn't the most comfortable with the ball at his feet, but he gained stability as the match wore on, coming into his own after the excellent stretching save on Jonathan Walter's curling snap-shot.
Also, I've probably watched this highlight about 175 times in the last 24 hours, so there's that.
But I also can't get over how much fun I had watching Kolo Toure yesterday, and how seamlessly he's integrated himself into the squad. I think we all still have reservations if there's no further additions to the defense, as Toure's clearly a stopgap measure whether or not he starts on a consistent basis, but with the player living up to the manager's billing as someone who's kept himself fit enough to have a positive impact, my concerns have--for the time being--been assuaged.
He very nearly opened the scoring with a bulleted header early in the first half, and throughout the match he proved stable at the back, handling one of the more challenging opponents in the Premier League competently. His emotional presence seemed just as important; there's something about watching the way he goes about his business that's just plain fun to watch, and his burst forward to join the attack in the second half was one of the more confusingly awesome (and probably reckless, but whatever) moments of the match.
His fellow debutantes will likely be at Liverpool longer, and will probably provide more memorable moments. But right now, it's hard to not love what Kolo Toure's done in his brief Liverpool career, and I'll certainly be looking forward to more.