Does Mamadou Sakho deserve a second chance at Liverpool? Depending on whom you talk to, you will get varying replies.
Some like myself will say hell yes, while others will say no — he’s burned his bridges and its time he moves on.
I would like to see Jurgen Klopp, forgive and forget Sakho’s past and let bygones be bygones, but I simply cannot see that happening.
The fact that Sakho is currently training away from the first team on his own so far this pre season speaks volumes. Klopp does not want him at Liverpool and will be more than happy to sanction a move away from Anfield for the big French defender.
While I am not doubting the managers decision, after all no one player is bigger than the club, I think allowing Sakho leave could come back to bite Liverpool, especially if the club fail to sign Virgil van Dijk.
Liverpool are in need of another central defender, this we can all agree on. Dejan Lovren just does not cut it. Having him partnering Joel Matip in defence for potentially 50/60 games next season, for many fans. is the stuff of nightmares.
While some fans will argue that Sakho is not much better than Lovren, I will have to disagree with this.
He went in to a Crystal Palace side last January and helped them avoid relegation. His performances were so impressive for the Eagles he was named as one of their players of the season. That was after just eight games.
Klopp and Liverpool are looking for £30 million for the French defender. Is he worth it? I would say yes.
In fact, any team that pays that for him are getting an excellent defender on the cheap. Some fans will point out that, Sakho can’t be all that good, seeing as no one has bid for him so far this summer.
This, in my opinion is to do more with his past indiscretions than his performances on the pitch.
In the eight games Sakho played for Palace last season he created four chances, won 50% of his duels, averaged eight defensive actions per game, and made a grand total of zero defensive errors.
In the 2016/2017 season for Liverpool, Sakho played 22 times, created four chances, scored one goal, averaged nine defensive actions per game, but had three defensive errors for the reds.
Last season, Dejan Lovren made three defensive errors throughout the season, and on average eight defensive actions per game and won 56% of his duels.
For me, if Matip and Sakho were paired in the heart of the Liverpool defence, the calamities that have became part of Liverpool’s defence over the past number of years, simply would not happen. Sakho brings confidence to those around him, as Matip has done this season.
Sakho is a Klopp type player — why? Well he’s not afraid to run the ball out of defence, and he is always a danger from set pieces. He can also defend set pieces, something Liverpool have had a problem with since Rafa left ten years ago.
He has the experience of playing at the top, having captained Paris Saint-Germain and played Champions League football with the French outfit. While in France, he was used to fighting for and winning trophies.
During his time exiled from the Liverpool setup, Sakho has always remained professional and has not spat his dummy out — we’ll not mention those infamous Instagram posts.
Even now, knowing that his Liverpool career is all but over, he still attends training and gives it his all.
He was an inspiration to the U-23’s last season when he was playing with them. He trained as hard as any of the others and helped the then manager, Michael Beale, if he was asked to.
Liverpool could do worse having Sakho as a third defender next season, if the club manage to sign Van Dijk. Sakho is miles ahead of Lovren in terms of quality; his head does not wobble as much as Lovren’s and he can be the calming head that is needed from time to time.
Also having Sakho in the squad would hopefully stop Lucas Levia EVER playing in defence for Liverpool again.
I’m still hoping Sakho and Klopp can sort out their differences but, while my heart says yes it will happen, my head knows better.