Who could forget the inglorious celebration of Mamadou Sakho with his Palace teammate Christian Benteke after the goal that saw them win 1-2 at Anfield. As if the goal from Benteke, a former Red rejected by Klopp, was not enough, the celebration from their own on loan defender Sakho did rub salt into the wounds of the Reds’ faithful.
It is now being said that the defender is trying to seal a permanent move to Crystal Palace at summer. Speaking about Sakho’s move to Palace, Eagles’ chairman Steve Parish stated:
“I am sure there will be a negotiation. If we can make it work of course we would like to, I am not going to try and be coy about it. He is a very good player. He likes being with us and we like him. Let’s hope we can do it.”
The Reds are reportedly asking for a hefty £30m (or €35m) for the defender. The French man had signed a 5-year contract back in 2015 which ties him to the Reds till 2020. With 3 years still remaining in his contract, it is safe to say Liverpool will play hardball in selling the defender.
After a spat with the Jürgen Klopp in July 2016, Sakho was demoted from the first team which saw him hardly play any first team football with the Reds and he was eventually loaned out to Crystal Palace in January 2017.
From being termed as a “Beast in training” by Brendan Rodgers in 2013 to getting himself cast adrift by Klopp in 2016, it has been a gradual decline for Sakho. He has however made 8 appearances for the Eagles this season.
- The player has only accumulated 687 minutes on the pitch with his 8 appearances.
- In his 8 appearances the club has managed to win 5 games and keep 4 clean sheets, a feat that goes to show the huge potential that the defender possesses.
- At 6’1 he possesses an aerial threat in set pieces and is also great at winning balls in aerial duels in the midfield.
- The French International is good at passing the ball with a pass success rate of 84% during his time at Selhurst Park. (Source: WhoScored)
The player is also prone to injury problems. Latest of such instance being the knee injury which saw him on the sideline for 3 weeks after his short stint with Palace.
What’ll he bring to the Club?
His stats although incomplete does go to show the potential that he possess. Under the right setup and direction, he can be a solid player for any team. With his passing ability and dominance in aerial duels, he would be a threat in set pieces and pretty much an archetypical Big Sam player. Had it not been for Sakho, the Palace fans could have been a nervy bunch with one game yet to play as they were pretty close to the drop a few weeks ago.
Worth the Money?
Although he possesses huge potential with good technical abilities on the field, his career has been marred with indiscipline, poor behaviour and lack of focus which makes the 27-year old a huge gamble.
The asking price of €35m is just too much for a player of his status. At best he could be valued at €20m seeing his current form and status. Seeing Sakho still has 3 years in his contract it seems only natural for Liverpool to extract as much value as they can but the €35m price tag is not value for money.
It would be a shocker to see if Palace do go for the bait.