Liverpool’s sidelined general Mamadou Sakho should consider himself lucky if Southampton and Sevilla are chasing him.
Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho has found the going tough since last season ended. After his narrow escape with WADA, many expected him to get back into the first team seamlessly, but Jurgen Klopp clearly didn’t have that planned.
Much to the discontent of fans, Klopp decided to sideline the French defender and made it known to him that it would be preferred if he went out on loan. It may have been pride, it may have been determination, but Sakho wanted to stay and fight for his place.
However, the decision for the French defender to not accept a spell away from Liverpool to prove himself to the manager after his indiscretions were not welcomed and further angered Klopp. Many thought that the Liverpool boss would get over the incidents and eventually give the 26-year-old a spot on the team. Klopp however, had decided that Sakho was not of much value to him when even played Lucas in the defence to reiterate the point.
Joe Gomez is making his return later tonight in an FA Cup fixture, and Joel Matip hasn’t gone for the Africa Cup of Nations, which means Liverpool are not struggling personnel wise at the back. In such a situation, Mamadou Sakho must go away from the club, on loan or even permanently, as chances of him becoming a permanent feature in the team seem microscopic.
The club name that has been thrown around the most has been of Southampton. This move will prove to be fantastic for the French defender if it does materialise.
Southampton’s captain Jose Fonte decided to hand in a transfer request and has been linked with Manchester United and Liverpool (no surprise there). Regardless of his eventual destination, he will certainly depart the club. Therefore, chances of Sakho getting a first-team berth straight away are high, and eventually, playing every week is exactly what a defender in his late 20s would crave.
Southampton is a very well-respected club which plays an attractive brand of football. The Saints have finished in the top half of the table since 2013/14, and only the most arrogant will call it a massive downgrade for the player.
Southampton signing Sakho would probably be the most fitting ending possible to the Lovren v Sakho fan war. #lfc
— Dan Kennett (@DanKennett) January 6, 2017
The Saints are also in the English Premier League, considered the most glamorous of the lot. Considering Sakho is settled in England, it would be easier to move within the country than go out.
Sevilla is another club that the papers have linked Sakho with, and the Spanish side too would be a fantastic club for the defender. They are doing incredibly well in the Spanish league at the moment and can aim to finish in the top 3 this season. The La Liga outfit will be further more attractive as it regularly competes in European football. Three times consecutive winners of the Europa League, Sevilla have progressed to the knockout stage of the Champions League this time around. Since Liverpool didn’t qualify for European football, and Sakho was sidelined by the manager anyway, he can even feature in the Champions League matches for Sevilla this season if he ends up making a move.
Southampton and Sevilla after Sakho then; two of the best recruitment setups in Europe. Shame to lose such a top defender in his prime.
— Paul (@pclfc8) January 7, 2017
Either clubs would represent an excellent choice for the Frenchman. For the clubs too, Sakho would prove to be a wise investment, and if managed suitably, he could do well. The key for the suitor would have to be to guide and mentor him well, and also ensure he is disciplined off the pitch.