Liverpool defender Kolo Toure believes that the difference between Arsene Wenger and the rest of the managers in the Premier League is the Frenchman's ability to take an average player and transform him into one of the best in the business. The Ivory Coast international is likely to take the field against his former club with the Reds currently without their first choice defenders, who are out through hamstring injuries.
Toure was part of Arsenal's Invincibles squad which was unbeaten an entire season in 2003/04 and went on to win the Premier League title. Eleven years later, the Gunners are again with a fighting chance to replicate their success, currently top of the league table, two points ahead of nearest challengers Leicester City.
Toure is likely to be thrown into the deep end as the Gunners look for their fourth win in consecutive games in all competitions when they embark on their mission at Anfield. Toure started for the Reds in the corresponding fixture at the Emirates last season, where they were bludgeoned 4-1 by the Gunners, with Hector Bellerin, Olivier Giroud, Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil making their way into the scoresheet.
However, despite the competitiveness between the clubs, Toure holds Wenger as one of the most influential people in his life, someone who made him a solid defender in the league.
"The thing I like is this manager can make an average player one of the best players in the world. He did that with so many players. George Weah, Patrick Viera was in Milan not playing a lot, Thierry Henry was at Juventus and he brought him here and made him one of the best players in the world," Toure said of Wenger, as quoted by the Telegraph.
"He did that with so many players, he made a lot of players into top players. He is a fantastic manager. He did that with me because I started from nowhere. He took me to the next level and I always respect him for that," he added.