Two matchdays have taken place in the new Premier League season and Stoke City have already shipped five goals, one against Middlesbrough and four against mighty Manchester City. That’s far from the defensive solidity the Potters need in order to push for a top-six finish which should be their aim for the next season after three consecutive ninth-placed finishes. It has been a rather quiet transfer window from Stoke City but it is evident that if Stoke City have to do well this season, they are in a dire need of defensive reinforcements before the transfer window slams closed.
The Liverpool Echo, which is more like a Bible in the case of Liverpool’s transfers, claims that Stoke City are looking to make a loan move for Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho, who is quite surprisingly is unwanted at Anfield, at least for now. A cult figure in the red half of the Merseyside, Sakho had been in and out of the Liverpool first team in his three years at the club but after his troubled four months, the 26-year-old is looking on the fringes of the Liverpool side.
In April, Sakho was charged by UEFA for failing a drugs test for which he eventually missed the remainder of the season as well as the Euro 2016 for France. He was later cleared of all charges but was sent home from the pre-season tour of America by Klopp for repeatedly breaking club rules. Now it seems that Klopp is happy with the options he has at the back and is prepared to ship out Sakho on loan to get regular playing time.
Sakho is a quality defender with a natural ability to lead the back four. The Frenchman captained a club like PSG on his debut at the age of just 17 which speaks volumes about his ability to lead and motivate his side. When with the ball, the 26-year-old looks shaky but still comes out on top most of the time with his passing.
A force in the air, Sakho is rarely beaten by the height of the opposing strikers. The Frenchman is blessed with an exceptional concentration and ability to read the game. The 28-time capped French international has a unique style of playing as The Mirror described him as ‘a defensive maverick; a man who plays by his own rules’.
Stoke City have five central defenders right now and not basically short on numbers but a player like Sakho would be a big addition to their defensive ranks. The Frenchman contributes to the game not only with his defending but also with the other abilities he brings. It would be a no-brainer from Stoke to bring Sakho on loan but Liverpool would be foolish to let this deal happen.