Kolo Toure decision a missed opportunity for Leeds United and Celtic

Kolo Toure of Celtic (L) warms up with team mates during a Celtic training session on the eve of their UEFA Champions League Group C match against Borussia Moenchengladbach at Lennoxtown...

Both Leeds United and Celtic could have done with Kolo Toure in their respective teams this season.

Earlier this month, Kolo Toure suggested to The Scottish Sun that he wanted to carry on playing for Celtic.

The 36-year-old central defender spent the 2016-17 campaign at Celtic, and although the former Ivory Coast international made only 20 appearances in all competitions, he was still influential when he played.

At 36, the former Arsenal and Manchester City centre-back is past his best and would not be able to start 40 matches in a season, but the ex-Liverpool man would still be able to play as a good back-up who could also mentor the young defenders.

Kolo Toure of Celtic (L) warms up with team mates during a Celtic training session on the eve of their UEFA Champions League Group C match against Borussia Moenchengladbach at Lennoxtown...

“I just want to carry on playing if there is a good option,” Toure told The Scottish Sun earlier this month. “But at the same time if there is a good opportunity as a coach I’d like a player-coach role to inspire young players because that is what I was doing at Celtic for the last six months.

“We spoke about me going on the staff and I was waiting for an offer to come but nothing is done yet and time is going on.

“I still have something to offer. I have had very few injuries and I can still bring my experience and fighting spirit.

“Every training I give 100 per cent – even though I wasn’t playing at Celtic I was the best trainer there.”

Kolo Toure of Celtic arrives at the stadium prior to the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Hearts and Celtic at Tynecastle Stadium on April 2, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland.

From Toure’s comments, it was clear that he wanted to get his future sorted as soon as possible, and it appears that he has now made a decision.

As reported by The Glasgow Evening Times, the centre-back, who won the Premier League with Arsenal in 2004 and with Manchester City in 2012, has been appointed as a coach with the Ivory Coast national football team.

Toure’s decision is a chance missed not only by Celtic, but also by Leeds United in the Championship in England.

Celtic have injury problems defensively at the moment. With centre-backs Erik Sviatchenko and Dedryck Boyata both on the sidelines, the Glasgow could do with someone in that department in the short term.

Leeds could also do with another central defender, especially with the recent injury suffered by Matthew Pennington.

Pennington, who joined the Whites on a season-long loan deal from Premier League club Everton in the summer transfer window, featured in the Championship game against Bolton away from home at the Macron Stadium last weekend.

The 22-year-old, who can operate as a centre-back or as a right-back, started the match and played for 64 minutes before being taken off due to an ankle injury.

Toure would not have been playing in each and every game for Celtic or Leeds this season, but the centre-back would have been brilliant as a back-up who could have taught the younger defenders a thing or two.

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