For many, Liverpool's top priority heading into the summer transfer window was to strengthen defensively--Jamie Carragher's resurgent form and subsequent retirement combined with the uncertain futures of Martin Skrtel and Sebastian Coates to leave some major unanswered questions in central defense, with Daniel Agger seemingly the only cemented starter headed into next season. The club might not have unveiled the solution to that particular problem today, but the signing of Kolo Toure on a free transfer provides depth, experience, and, ideally, cover for the prospects that'll follow.
This certainly isn't a signing to blow anyone's socks off; Toure used to be among the league's elite, strong and sensible at the back and capable of playing the ball forward during his days with Arsenal. The move to Manchester City saw him appointed captain (albeit by Mark Hughes) and feature regularly at the heart of the City defense, though after the arrival of Roberto Mancini and a doping ban--incurred as a result of a failed drugs test for using his wife's water tablets to control his weight--he failed to re-establish himself in the eleven ahead of Vincent Kompany and Joleon Lescott.
I don't know (or at least I don't hope) that his minutes all of a sudden increase as a result of his move to Merseyside, as there's still sorting to be done for the futures of Skrtel and Coates, and the promising links with Schalke defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos and young Sporting center-back Tiago Ilori. Toure's arrival seems a stop-gap measure, one to fill in the holes where needed and give the club a veteran with experience and a bit of quality, particularly with Carragher's departure.
Measured as a move for a new partner for Daniel Agger, this one's bound to be judged harshly, and discussion of wages is going to irk more than a few. But it also makes plenty of sense if handled correctly--continue to search for the long-term solution, bleed the youngsters where appropriate, and have a veteran, successful defender there to provide a fallback option when he's needed.
Welcome to Liverpool Kolo Toure, and hopefully your time here will see success for both you and the club.