Mamadou Sakho is a player who has been at the centre of many debates amongst fans. From his arrival at Liverpool, many believed he was too awkward as a defender (some still do), but Sakho soon won over supporters with some the Frenchman’s performances, not least in the game against Manchester Utd in the Europa League.
Sakho’s much improved performances, joint with his eccentric antics off the field and notable charity work sparked the creation of a cult hero for Liverpool fans.
So, why has Sakho been frozen out by Jurgen Klopp? He was found to be innocent in his trial for doping which resulted in him missing the Europa League final and European Championships in his home nation.
Additionally, had he gone to the Euro’s, he would not have been selected for the Liverpool’s pre-season tour; where he was sent home after annoying Klopp, not that the German seemed too piss off…
There are of course, many different ways to deal with players who have disciplinary problems, but it was clear that Klopp wanted rid of him after this ordeal – proposing various loan deals for “fitness”, which made it obvious that Sakho was no longer in first team plans.
Given the nature of events leading up to this, Sakho’s position is very unfortunate – he is suspected of doping and later found innocent, and upon return to the club following a few minor disputes, he is banished to the reserves. Klopp’s status at Liverpool almost makes the ex-Dortmund boss untouchable, and although Klopp is world-class – the 49-year-old is not immune from criticism. The current situation could have been avoided if matters were handled internally, instead of instantly throwing Sakho on the next flight home.
It’s a shame to see such a great player in a scenario like this. There are examples of some poor discipline, such as when the 26-year-old decided to go home when he wasn’t selected in the Everton match or his Snapchat rant, but never anything too serious. If only UEFA had tested someone like James Milner at Old Trafford, all of this would have been avoided. Milner wouldn’t be on any diet pills would he?
Sorry to the fans for throwing away a 2-0 lead. Our minds were all over the place trying to think of new ways for Sakho to burn fat.
— Boring James Milner (@BoringMilner) April 23, 2016
It would be harsh to sell Sakho in January or next summer. He deserves a chance to prove himself again, he has had time in the Under 23’s, but appears to not be in consideration at all for the first team. Last week against Spurs in the EFL Cup was the perfect opportunity for Sakho to make an appearance, but this shows that Klopp would prefer to play Ian Ayre before even considering that idea.
At this point, the future doesn’t look great for Sakho and we may have seen the last of him in a Liverpool shirt. Even if fans do not feel that Sakho is worthy of a start, that’s fine – Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip have been okay so far this season – but the reasons for excluding him are completely unjustified.
The behaviour which has been reported to the media is in fact so minor, that you see worse behaviour in the House of Commons. A fan favourite, a powerful and dominant centre-back – to be moved aside for trivial reasons.
If there really is no way back for Sakho, then he should be remembered for his class. A great player on the pitch who actively involved himself in the local community with countless contributions to charitable causes.
Sakho has every right to feel aggrieved should this be the outcome, as a mistaken accusation of doping lead to his exclusion from the national team, and consequently the extended break which would have resulted in him not being on the tour to Alcatraz.
Hopefully Klopp can see some sense after some of the poor defending on display against Crystal Palace in the 4-2 victory, and give Sakho a chance soon – the Liverpool defense can’t rely on outscoring their opponents every game.