Mamadou Sakho came to Liverpool with quite a reputation and sadly for him, he’ll leave with most of it tarnished. The man, once termed as the drunk Baresi by Guardian columnist Barney Ronay for his clumsy yet oft-effective style while carrying the ball, has had a bittersweet spell at the club and is seemingly an outcast with Jürgen Klopp preferring the likes of Ragnar Klavan and Lucas in defence.
Liverpool’s preseason plan was well thought out and Sakho not being a part of it raised doubts as to his long-term future at the club. Although he has featured for the u23 side, he isn’t needed at Anfield and is looking for an exit route to get his career back on track. He’s likely to find a lot of suitors in the market and latest reports suggest that Southampton are one of them.
Under the stewardship of Claude Puel, Southampton have had a pretty topsy-turvy campaign so far and none sums it better than Europa League campaign where they beat Inter Milan, but still couldn’t manage to make the round of 32.
Southampton have been pretty decent defensively. In Virgil van Dijk and Jose Fonte, they have two solid defenders who complement each other well. However, after Fonte’s recent transfer request, Koeman has a real problem to deal with.
Sakho could be a good option alongside Van Dijk. The two are still young in terms of being defenders and could form a solid partnership together. Sakho is more of a front-footed defender and good with the ball at his feet. His stance on the ball often looks ungainly, but his passing is pretty accurate. A pretty well-built centre-back, Sakho also has the ability to dominate aerial duels.
Claude Puel has seen a lot of Sakho when the latter was playing for PSG. The French connection between the duo could also be beneficial as it might see a seamless transition if the defender does make the move. Southampton’s attractive style of play too could blossom with a passer like Sakho at the back.
Prior to the exile, Sakho was a regular for the French national team and he’ll want to get back into the reckoning. He showed massive potential when he burst on to the scene and if he wants to fulfil all of it, he’ll need to start getting his act together at Southampton, if, of course, he moves.
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