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Kolo's Got the Hunger

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Few expected much from Kolo Toure when he signed for Liverpool on a free, but the defender has quickly become an important player and cult figure—and Brendan Rodgers is almost as surprised by it as everyone else.

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Thananuwat Srirasant

It already feels a bit of a tired, overdone story. Kolo Toure, arriving as Liverpool's first summer signing, on a free and to relatively little fanfare and with most just about willing to concede he'd do alright to provide a little depth. An emergency option.

And then, Kolo happened. To the surprise of many, he not only started the season alongside Daniel Agger, but he was one of the club's top performers, dialling back the years to his Arsenal days after a few seasons on the purgatorial fringes of Manchester City's bloated squad.

"I think everyone has been taken aback," admitted Brendan Rodgers when asked about Toure's instant impact. "I was certainly aware of his qualities as a man but when he came through the door, you realise how he's magnetic in terms of his enthusiasm for the game."

Rather than being a spare part, Toure quickly showed himself capable of being an important player and likely to play a key role in Liverpool's success this season. His drive and personality has also, in an almost ridiculously short span of time and with nobody having quite expected it, established him as something of a cult hero.

"He has brought hunger, even though he has won titles," added Rodgers. "He's come from a club that has won the league and yet he's still very hungry to do well. He has got great human qualities—he's a very humble guy.

"He has offered great experience to our younger players and offered great support to some of our senior players as well. He has worked hard for it—he's certainly not here for an easy payday.

"He trains every day and even when he's not fit he's down with the group. He's really enjoying his time here. So I've enjoyed having him and I think fans have seen his performances and they've loved him."

Yes, yes they have. And long may it continue.