In recent Mamadou Sakho transfer news, Liverpool are reported to have rejected another offer from Crystal Palace. It is believed to be the third offer Palace have made during the transfer window. The offer was reported to be £22mil + £3mil in performance related add ons. Liverpool are willing to sell Sakho but the club have made it clear that they will not accept less than £30mil for the player. Are Liverpool going to be flexible in their demands?
We take a look at whether Sakho is likely to join to Crystal Palace…
Reported Transfer Fee: £25mil
2016/17 League Stats: 8 Starts
Crystal Palace look to be in trouble already and we’re only three games into the season. Whereas Allardyce’s success was built on defensive solidity, Frank de Boer seems to have fallen into the same trap as Alan Pardew, focusing on the expansive side of the game first.
Palace have some good attacking players but defensively, no one is good enough in the Premier League to allow themselves as exposed as Crystal Palace have left themselves at times this season and last.
Sakho made a huge impression last season on loan at Palace as shown by his nominations for various player of the season awards despite playing only 8 games. He contributed to Palace’s end of season form as they improved noticeably and avoided relegation, somewhat comfortably in the end, finishing a respectable 14th.
If we’re being honest Sakho is a massive improvement on the current centre-backs at the club. Tomkins, Kelly and Danns have been performing questionably for a while. Whilst Fosu-Mensah and Riedewald are still very young and have extremely limited experience of Premiership football. I’m not convinced they are ready to play very week. It’s also a huge amount of responsibility to give such young players, entrusting them at the heart of a struggling defence and in a team trying to stay in the Premiership. It’s asking a lot.
Palace should do everything they can to sign Sakho. He would become indispensable to the team. His reading of the game is better than the defenders already at the club. His ball distribution is really good for a centre back. He’s also committed and strong. Sakho is a good, Premiership defender with decent experience at this level. He would be a good addition for a lot of clubs in England and abroad.
His first touch and concentration are probably the areas of his game which are weaknesses though.
Competition is thought to be high for Sakho’s signature with Leicester and West Brom also linked with bids. He would be a good signing for both clubs to be honest and I could see him establishing himself in either team.
It may take a bit longer at a club like Leicester as he’d have to compete with the captain Wes Morgan and the impressive Harry Maguire but I would expect him to become an important player for them eventually. Whereas I could see Sakho walking into the West Brom team as well as Palace’s.
After several issues at Liverpool and with Klopp, like the doping situation and being sent home from last season’s pre-season tour, it’s no surprise that Sakho has been made available for transfer. He wasn’t involved at all at Liverpool last season which is why he spent the second half of the season on loan at Palace. For some time his Liverpool career has been looking on borrowed time.
Nonetheless considering Liverpool’s defensive options, there’s a strong case for Sakho still being one of their better defenders and possibly even a starter. Matip and Lovren are currently the first choice centre backs but Lovren in particular has been prone to inconsistency whilst he doesn’t have the strength of Sakho. Matip has been decent since he joined on a free transfer from Schalke and is probably Liverpool’s best centre back but he lacks bravery and is technically weaker than the other two on the ball so is far from flawless himself.
At worst Sakho is Liverpool’s third best centre back. Although personally I rate him above Lovren.
Considering Liverpool have Champion League football and the length of the season on the whole, for footballing reasons alone it doesn’t seem the wisest decision to let Sakho go without a replacement. Liverpool already look light on quality at the back, selling Sakho would compound this.
The Virgil Van Dijk transfer saga has been ongoing all summer and Liverpool have been at the forefront of those links but it’s far from guaranteed that they will get the Dutchman with Southampton adamant up to this point that they won’t sell.
Joe Gomez looks a really good prospect and a possible Liverpool defender for years to come but right now he’s still raw and has only just recovered from a long term injury. He still has a lot to learn and the heart of defence is not a position a club with League and European aspirations wants to be experimenting with. He’s been used at full back mostly recently and it makes sense for Klopp to continue with this to help his development in a less pressurised position.
At the moment Klavan looks comfortable as Liverpool’s third choice centre back with Sakho’s exclusion. He hasn’t completely impressed when used either though; positionally questionable at times himself.
— Mamadou Sakho (@mamadousakho) July 6, 2017
I’m personally surprised teams higher up the table either in England or abroad aren’t also interested in Sahko. I suspect some of the off the field issues have effected interest.
Liverpool are clearly keen sellers and Klopp wants rid. Therefore I expect them to be a little flexible with the asking price so long as the bidding team is close enough to their asking price.
There’s suggestions that Sakho favours a return to London so looking at the interested teams that would make Palace favourites. Having spent last season on loan there as well plus the likely connections he will have formed only strengthens Palace’s position.
I think I’d be more shocked if Sakho stayed at Liverpool and Crystal Palace, overwhelmingly, look like hey are going to be his next destination.
Where do you think Sakho will end up? Leave your thoughts below.