Liverpool's defense was in need of a major upgrade in the summer of 2014, and now, almost eight full months past the end of the summer transfer window, little appears upgraded. The arrival of Dejan Lovren was supposed to improve the defense, but after three months of featuring regularly, the Croatian central defender was largely responsible for an even worse goals against record than last season. Martin Skrtel, Mamadou Sakho, and Emre Can--who only recently turned 21 and is a midfielder by trade--have proven the squad's most reliable defensive combination, with Lovren only returning to the side after an injury to Sakho.
Kolo Toure has been on the outside looking in for most of the season despite Lovren's struggles, with Can impressing throughout the winter months and Skrtel again the most consistent in terms of form and fitness. Brendan Rodgers has brought the Ivorian into the side when necessary, but after featuring fairly regularly in the 2013-2014 season, he's found opportunities limited. Rodgers has apparently made it clear that he'd prefer to keep the veteran around as an experienced head, though rumors Saturday night indicate that might not be on Toure's agenda.
Reports have Liverpool offering a single year extension to the 34-year-old, but The Mirror indicate that the former Arsenal and Manchester City defender would prefer a two-year deal. Enter New York Red Bulls of MLS, who are reportedly interested in bringing Toure to the three-time Easter Conference winners.
Red Bulls could be in the market for a designated player, having lost Tim Cahill and Thierry Henry at the end of last season, and Kolo would fit the bill. He's not going to be a first-team regular at Liverpool barring a catastrophic string of injuries and zero transfer activity this summer, and a move to the US would likely afford him more playing time while still earning a decent wage.
If and when Kolo does leave Liverpool, it will be a relatively sad day; he's managed to become a crowd favorite during his time on Merseyside despite producing mixed results on the pitch, as he's by all accounts an excellent teammate and one who always strikes a positive figure in the media. Whatever ends up happening, hopefully he's able to see out his career in style.
- Rodgers Underlines Need to Add Goals in Wake of West Brom Draw
- West Brom 0, Liverpool 0: Tony Pulis Wins the Day in Frustrating Draw
- Emre Can and Divock Origi Excited about Liverpool's Future
- A Strong Finish to the Season Speaks Loudest for Rodgers
- Rumour Mongering: Liverpool Target Real Madrid Midfielder Asier Illarramendi