After a long spell of inaction, Mamadou Sakho is finally looking to start his next stint this January. And it is not expected to be Anfield. Since his rift with manager Jurgen Klopp, the French international is seen five times in the Liverpool Under-23 side and although Klopp hasn’t openly stated anything on his situation, a departure looks imminent.
And given the scarcity of good centre-halves in the transfer market, having such a decent one in the mid-season is nothing less than a jackpot. Whatever disciplinary issues Sakho has, there is no doubt in his defensive abilities. Consequently, clubs like West Brom, Crystal Palace and Swansea are also waiting impatiently to make a move.
Liverpool signed the 26-year-old along with Tiago Ilori for a combined fee of about £25m. Sakho had cost the Reds around £25m and Liverpool would like to squeeze back most of it when they sell him. A suggestion of £20m is doing the rounds and given the lack of good centre-backs in the Premier League, it won’t be surprising if Swansea City does fork over that amount.
The prime contenders for his signature seem to be Swansea City and Southampton. While Jose Fonte is more or less surely moving out after he has offered a transfer request, Swansea have their own problems both on and off the pitch.
They didn’t have the best of starts to the Premier League this season and are currently dwelling one position above the bottom of the league table. One of the main defenders, Federico Fernandez has been in good speculation after concerning a transfer and the new boss Paul Clement would have to beef up his squad with quality if he doesn’t want his players leaving the club at this time of crisis.
A product of Paris Saint-Germain’s youth product, Sakho’s reputation remains that of a strong and intelligent centre-back. At 187cm, he is quite strong in the air and is known for his perfect passing from the deep field up front. He likes to move up with short link-up plays and is strong on holding to the ball.
Having played in the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and featured in France’s 2014 World Cup squad, Swansea are looking at a hugely experienced player at the top level. Defending has been a huge concern for Swansea this season as they have conceded a whopping 45 goals in 23 games so far.
Having someone like Sakho will undoubtedly be a huge boost for them as they have Arsenal, Liverpool, Southampton and Manchester City as their next four opponents in the league.