Kolo Toure was an unknown quantity when Arsenal signed him from ASEC Mimosas, a team based in the Ivory Coast, for £150,000 in February 2002.
It wasn’t until the start of the next season that Gunners fans caught their first glimpse of the defender, who went on to spend seven successful years with the north London outfit.
Toure was part of the ‘Invincibles’ side that won the 2003-04 Premier League title. He also landed his hands on two FA Cups, two Community Shields and finished as a runner-up in the 2005-06 Champions League during his time at the club.
However, you’ll probably be left wondering why Arsene Wenger decided to sign Toure when you hear the hilarious story about his first training session.
It involves Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and even Wenger himself all finding themselves on the wrong end of a bone-crunching Toure tackle.
Story of Kolo Toure's first Arsenal training session
This story sounds too good to be true - but John Cross, author of the book in question, has confirmed that it’s entirely true.
Wenger's gamble paid off
Fair play to Wenger. Despite the fact he was left in agony by the Ivory Coast international, he signed him because of his tenacity.
He took a gamble and it paid off handsomely.
Arsenal ended up selling Toure to Manchester City for £14 million in July 2009.
He won three trophies at the Etihad Stadium - the Premier League, the FA Cup and the Community Shield - before moving on to Liverpool in 2013.
Toure became a cult hero at Anfield but, at the age of 35, was released on a free transfer in the summer.
He now finds himself at Celtic, where he’s still competing for titles and playing in the Champions League.
Was Kolo Toure an underrated defender? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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