Kolo Toure
Kolo Toure

Kolo Toure

Not much got past Kolo Toure - a true Invincible.

The cultured centre back was the first in a string of successful Ivorians to pitch up at the Club under Arsene Wenger and perhaps goes down as one of the Frenchman's most astute signings.

Kolo Toure Profile

Name Kolo Toure
Arsenal Career 2002 - 2009
Position:
Appearances 326 (295 starts, 31 as a sub)
Goals 14

Signed from Abidjan outfit ASEC Mimosas for just £150,000 in February 2002, Toure arrived at Arsenal with international pedigree but was far from the finished article.

Used mostly in the midfield engine room during his first few seasons at the Club, Kolo scored his first Arsenal goal in the Gunners’ 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge in September 2002. He would finish the campaign, his first full season with the Club, with 39 appearances and two goals.

But Toure was eventually transformed from midfield utility man into one of the Premier League's finest centre backs, forming an excellent partnership at the heart of defence with Sol Campbell.

Toure was a key figure in the incredible unbeaten season of 2003/04 - his first full season in central defence - and soon endeared himself to the Highbury faithful with a string of consistent and committed displays.

That was really just the beginning for the Ivorian. Campbell departed in 2006 but Toure quickly settled alongside new partner Phillipe Senderos and helped Arsenal reach the 2006 Champions League final against Barcelona.

The 10 consecutive clean sheets recorded en route remain a European competition record and Toure's winning goal in Arsenal's semi-final first leg against Villarreal - the final European strike at Highbury - ultimately secured a place in the final.

Kolo continued to be one of the first names on Wenger's teamsheet in the following three seasons before his transfer to Premier League rivals Manchester City in July 2009.