As Brendan Rodgers mulls over additions to his coaching staff, one possibility, Kolo Toure, has taken a position with the Ivorian Olympic team.
Kolo’s role at the club in the early part of last season, when he steadied a shaky defence sufficiently to see us through the Champions League qualifiers, could be reprised this season. Due to injuries, we’re short in central defence, while running with only two strikers until January (at least) seems tight. A Kolo-type figure may help both positions.
Scratch deep enough, however, and it gets more complicated. Kolo did well at the start of last season but was soon erring consistently, before being retired by omission. This was someone playing at the top of the game the season before.
Bringing in another experienced addition to the squad to patch gaps in defence or attack works on paper when you look at Kolo’s early work, but there are significant downside risks. The match fitness of anyone out of contract right now is unlikely to make them suitable to undertake hugely important games in the coming weeks.
Then there is the question of attitude – Philippe Senderos once looked like a good idea, but Phil took a red card instead of jumping for a ball, when his team needed him most. The small matter of money also has to be considered: Kolo was paid a fortune for his time in Glasgow; straight from the football budget.
Opportunity cost is another issue. Kris Ajer will not see a great deal of first team action this season, but his development would be hampered more with a 35-year-old team-mate on £35k per week as first reserve. And surely we hope to promote a striker through the ranks?
The final issue to consider is what will happen to the squad in the final week of the month, if Champions League qualification is secured and the transfer window gets into full swing. We were scourged for so long by squad fillers.
Sign quality combatants, able to last a season in the first time and with years of development ahead. This is where strategy has to be.
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