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12:00 PM UTC Jun 23, 2018
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Transfer Rater: Alex Telles to Liverpool

Football Whispers
 By Mike Whalley

Kolo Toure happy with decision to stay at Liverpool despite lack of game time

Kolo Toure
Kolo Toure has fallen down the pecking order at Anfield.

Kolo Toure insists he has made the right decision to stay at Liverpool -- even though he knows his first-team chances will be limited.

The centre-back turned down the chance to move to Turkish club Trabzonspor in August, saying that he had been told he still had plenty to offer at Anfield by manager Brendan Rodgers.

Toure, though, has been an unused substitute in all three of Liverpool's Premier League games this season, making him the only one of the club's four remaining central defenders yet to get on to the pitch.

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It suggests that the 33-year-old is behind Dejan Lovren, Martin Skrtel and Mamdou Sakho in the pecking order, but he says he is prepared to be patient.

Toure told the Liverpool Echo: "There are so many games this season with the four competitions that the manager needs depth.

"I am sure everyone will get chances at some point.

"The most important thing for me is what's best for the team, it's not about individuals.

"I'm part of a great project here and I will do my best every time I play."

Striker Fabio Borini, like Toure, has rejected the chance to leave Anfield this summer, having decided against moving first to Sunderland and then to QPR after Liverpool agreed deals to sell to both clubs.

Rodgers, though, was keener to sell Borini than Toure, who he feels brings valuable experience to the club even has a squad player, having won Premier League titles with Arsenal in 2004 and Manchester City in 2012.

However, he has not started a league game for Liverpool since February, and is likely to be used only sparingly this season, even allowing for the club's increased schedule, which is a result of their Champions League qualification.

Asked why he had turned down a move to Turkey, Toure said: "I have one more year on my contract here and this is a great club.

"As a player, you want to play for great clubs.

"The time I've spent at Liverpool already has been amazing for me. We had a great season and I've had a great time.

"You always want to be part of a great team and I hope this will be another great season for Liverpool Football Club."

Toure, meanwhile, believes that new 16 million pound signing Mario Balotelli is a more mature player than he was during his last spell in England.

The centre-back was a Manchester City team-mate of the 24-year-old at Manchester City, who played there for two-and-a-half years from the summer of 2010.

Balotelli was a controversial figure at City, where his escapades included throwing a dart at a youth-team player as well as a fire brigade call-out caused when fireworks were let off in his bathroom.

"I think some people have got the wrong idea about Mario," Toure said. "At City, he was young. And when you are young, you make some mistakes. Everyone does.

"He had a hard childhood but now he's more mature. He knows what he's doing. He knows he needs to work hard.

"For me he's always been a good boy but now I think he's more mature, more intelligent.

"He loves football and we are really happy to have him. With experience you become better. That's what we'll see from Mario."


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