Mamadou Sakho’s future at Paris Saint Germain has been in doubt since last year, with the player concerned that his lack of playing time is affecting not only his development, but his chances of playing for France at next year’s World Cup. He already missed out on last year’s European Championship which, according to Sakho, left tears in his eyes. Now, he finds himself left out of France’s latest squad which locked horns with a very talented Belgium side on Wednesday.
According to the Daily Express, Liverpool have come forward with an £8 million bid in an effort to end the central-defender’s nightmare. The player may also be seen as a potential replacement for Daniel Agger, who is very much the focus of Barcelona’s attention. But they would have to act fast because, according to the same paper, Monaco are also keen on taking the 23-year-old out of his frustrating situation. But given he isn’t first-choice at his current club, would he be a good signing for Brendan Rodgers’ side?
He is a very strong, hardworking defender, good in the tackle as well as a fine reader of the game. He won 70% of his tackles last season and averaged just over two interceptions per game. He also proved his strength in the air, winning a very impressive 76% of his headed duels.
He proved his bravery too and is not afraid to throw his body in the way of a shot to protect his ‘keeper and the goal behind him. He averaged just under one block per game last season. Rodgers’ side was guilty of loose defending at times last season. Sakho’s bravery, good positioning, strength, and aerial dominance would help tighten things up. Sakho (84) won more headed duels than Vidic (80) and Ivanovic (75).
In possession he is extremely reliable, able to play out from the back with great authority. He attempted an average of five long passes per game last season, completing an excellent 84% of them. Overall, he completed a very impressive 92% of his passes. Rodgers, a renowned believer in possession football, will no doubt be encouraged by this.
He is also a player with great leadership skills. Agger was recently made vice-captain of the squad. Sakho, meanwhile, was awarded PSG’s captaincy at age 21, before being stripped of it and dropped by former manager Carlo Ancelotti last year on the back of some below-par performances. Still, he is a natural leader and those qualities would add maturity to Liverpool’s backline.
This is a player who was linked with Arsenal, among other top clubs, not too long ago. The Gunners were quoted a fee of at least £20 million at the time. His qualities are more than good enough to see him be a first-team regular. A boost in confidence and playing minutes will see him get back to his best just in time for next year’s World Cup. And once at his best, he would prove to be a fine signing indeed — and a bargain at the reported fee.
Topics: Mamadou Sakho