West Brom eyeing a swoop for French defensive beast: A smashing addition by the Baggies?

Transfer story

Mamadou Sakho is facing turmoil in his career at the moment. There was a time when he was Liverpool’s first-choice centre-back. However, due to an ugly spat with manager Jurgen Klopp, the French defender has fallen out of favor for the Reds.

Sakho was loaned off to Crystal Palace for the second half of the last season. However, latest reports emerging from England state that the centre-half is close to complete a transfer to West Bromwich Albion. He has been linked with a move to the Baggies for a club-record deal.

It’s unlikely Klopp will add Sakho to his plans. The defender was left out of the squad for Liverpool’s first two matches of the season against Watford and Crystal Palace. He was not included in the mid-week Champions League qualification match against Hoffenheim either. Hence, a transfer seems to be the only way to revive Sakho’s career.

Player stats

Mamadou Sakho had a decent second half of the season last year with Crystal Palace. He made eight appearances for the Eagles last season and became an integral part towards the business end of the season.

Sakho had a 67% tackle success rate and made 15 interceptions during his stay at Crystal Palace.  The Frenchman made 33-headed clearances and 59 recoveries in those eight matches. He also won 2.37 aerial battles per match.

Surprisingly, the centre-back was never booked during any of those games. This highlights the disciplinary aspect of the defender’s game.

Sakho had enjoyed one of his best times in the Reds’ shirt in the 2015/16 season. He made 22 appearances for Liverpool in that season. He had fairly good numbers as well; he made 1.36 successful tackles per match and won 3.40 aerial duels during that period.

What does he bring to West Brom?

Despite his disciplinary issues in the past, Mamadou Sakho is a very capable centre-back. His tackling ability is supreme and he enjoys an advantage over other players due to his aerial prowess. Overall, in his career, he has averaged 1.40 tackles in every match. Add to that, the 3.01 successful aerial duels and West Brom would be getting a real gem of a player.

West Bromwich Albion have a shaky and an ageing defence at their disposal. They conceded 51 goals in 38 Premier League matches last season, which averages to 1.34 goals per match.

They managed to keep only six clean sheets during the course of the season and hence need more quality additions. Sakho’s addition to the squad would mean Craig Dawson would have to sit on the bench as Ahmed Hegazi has become an important member of the first team.

Worth the fuss?

Mamadou Sakho might have had a very uneventful time in his last couple of years for the club but he remains a quality defender. Though he might have some disciplinary issues, his defensive abilities are amazing.

He has been shown only two yellow cards during his career and this shows the calmness with which Sakho plays the game. If West Brom is able to complete this transfer, they would bolster their chances of improving their tenth place finish that they achieved last season.

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