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What's going on with Sakho?


It's been a strange week for Mamadou Sakho. The subject of offers from Roma and Bayer Leverkusen, left out of the 18 man squad in favour of Kolo Toure and then offered a new 100k a week contract extension. Just what the hell is going on? Three of our writers discuss what is an increasingly odd situation...

It might just be me but I feel like it’s getting increasingly difficult to assess Liverpool players in the internet, instant reaction age that we all live in. I can’t tell if people are genuine, taking the p*ss, trolling or completely over-evaluating players at the club. There are mad, grandiose statements made and then there are weird, trying too hard ‘comments’ modeled after Chuck Norris facts. Bottom line, the internet is no gauge of public opinion.
 
That’s a good thing too because if we used the internet barometer, Sakho would either be the greatest centre back in the history of French football or his feet are made of concrete and he should sleep with the fishes.

My opinion is that Sakho is a good defender who is prone to the odd lapse of concentration at moments. He’s not making rash decisions like Lovren and his passing is better than his style makes it appear. He’s an awkward looking player but he’s clearly got confidence in his own ability, even if it does sometimes lead to problems, though not as often as the doubters would have you believe.

So what of Sakho’s status at Liverpool? The club are sending very mixed signals but it seems like management are having of none of him whilst upper management are. Rodgers hasn’t even named in his match day squads so far this season but the club have offered him a contract extension with a salary increase, so err… what’s happening? No one knows so let’s wildly speculate.

What we have here is an old-fashioned game of politics. Rodgers is in the rare position of having a lousy season and finding his position strengthened. The club loosened the transfer committee shackles and gave him the tools to succeed, or enough rope to hang himself; your call. Rodgers has used this summer to completely exile unwanted players, most of who were signed by committee, and has brought in his own men. It seems Sakho might be part of the fallout, there’s no footballing reason why he shouldn’t be involved but the ghost of Kolo Toure gets to sit in the bench.

The committee aren’t gone though and it seems they view Sakho as a valuable player to have around; something most fans should agree with; even those who don’t think he’s good must think he’s a better bet than Toure. Sakho might not be as dominant as internet hard ons would have you believe but he’s a good defender who has a place in this squad/team. So would that be that the committees most venomous critics are on their side for once?
 
The club insist Sakho isn’t available for any sort of transfer yet he isn’t making any squads for match days. Whatever’s happening, it isn’t healthy for the supposed ‘fresh start’ for this season. It smacks of game-playing and politicking and most had their fill of that during the dying embers of the Benitez era. So what’s going on with Sakho? He’s being badly mishandled and je ne sais pas pourquoi.
 


Julian Richards

@Juleswithnoname

 

 

 

It reeks of internal club politics. Rodgers doesn’t fancy Sakho, never has. There were whispers from the start that he was a ‘committee’ signing and Rodgers had wanted his boy Ashley Williams instead. We paid big money for him and he was supposed to be the rock on which our defense would be built. A ‘marquee signing’ according to Ian Ayre (a member of said ‘committee’ don’t forget). 
 
Yet he’s never been a regular first choice and has been in and out of the side from the beginning. Injuries have contributed to that too obviously, but can you put your hand on your heart and tell me that Rodgers has had the same faith in him that he has had in Skrtel or even Lovren for that matter?
 
Despite the justified criticism of Lovren, you can at least make a case as to why he has been selected ahead of Sakho to start the season. What you cannot do, is make one for why Toure was on the bench while the Big Frenchman was in the stands. I expect that to change on Monday at Arsenal, because I reckon Rodgers has had his wings clipped a little this week by the owners, who were over here for the opening home game.
 
Sakho has been linked with a move away for weeks. Why is that? For some reason, clubs felt that Sakho was surplus to requirements. That’s obviously come from somewhere, as the talk of clubs being in for him came before he was left out of the opening two games.
 
My suspicion is that Rodgers was hoping to offload him and was happy for Sakho’s name to be circulated around Europe to see what interest there is. He’s then completely left him out of the squad to nudge him towards the exit by putting the frighteners on him, as Sakho knows that he needs to play this year with the European Championships coming at the end of the season.
 
Clubs have come in with loan offers but others at LFC, presumably those who pushed for his signing in the first place, have railed against it. The owners come over and a couple of days later Sakho is then being offered a 100k a week contract extension? It’s not a co-incidence. 
 
It's difficult to believe the new contract is Rodgers' idea. My best guess would be that they’ve said to him “you can sell all the dead wood nobody wants, but we’re not letting you sell anyone good when you yourself might not even be here in a few months”.
 
I can see why the club would take that stance and it's probably the right thing to do as Sakho is a good player, but it’s not ideal for the player himself if he suspects the manager doesn’t particularly want him here. He could sign the contract and take the extra money, but I’d be thinking carefully about it if I were him.
 
I really don’t get what Rodgers’ problem is though. He probably thinks he can sign someone better, but he tried that with Lovren and look how that turned out. Sometimes it’s better the devil you know and instead of playing politics he should just make use of Sakho until he has someone better. That someone better is not Kolo, and hopefully that's been made clear to Rodgers this week by the powers that be.
 


Dave Usher

@theliverpoolway

 
 
 
I have had a lot of criticism for the transfer policy at LFC in the last few years. But signing Sakho, age 23, with over 200 games experience at PSG, looked like a great move. Tall, strong, quick, and experienced at a young age, he seemed the perfect long term replacement for the glass-man Daniel Agger.
 
When we nearly won the league the defence got a hard time, especially Sakho. I thought it was harsh as the centre backs were so exposed by marauding full backs and gung-ho mentality that we often played almost with a back two.
 
Statistics proved we conceded more goals when Agger was out and Sakho was in, and Rodgers clearly wasn't convinced as he pushed the committee to sign another left sided defender, Dejan Lovren. 
 
Conceding six against Stoke with Sakho playing has maybe pushed Rodgers faith back to Lovren. I dont think supporters are convinced by either, but Sakho offers a stronger presence on that left side.
 
I think his biggest problem is that defenders under Rodgers are expected to be good on the ball, to build moves from the back, yet Sakho in possession sometimes makes Djimi Traore look like Bobby Moore. His Flamingo legs make him look gangly and out of control, leading to nerves in the crowd.
 
When I heard the rumours he was leaving though, I was gutted. He is better than Lovren, who has been a real let down signing. Toure will leave next summer, and at 25 Sakho is entering the second half of his career and as we all know centre backs often get better with age.
 
Thankfully, it looks like the Reds agree by offering him a contract. That will do for me. Leaving him out the 18 is odd, but Rodgers has shown earlier in his LFC career with players like Enrique, Downing, Lucas and Henderson, that even if he bombs you out there is a way back. 
 

Simon Ward

@SiWard2505

 

 

 


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82 Comments

Ditch Rodgers keep Sakho , whats so hard ? 

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Ditch Rodgers keep Sakho , whats so hard ? 

it's too easy, we never do anything easy

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I don't think that Sakho not playing is down to Rodgers I think it is down to the fact that Sakho wants out. I don't think he has settled in the city and I reckon this new contract situation is little more than an exit strategy for him. He refuses to sign therefore the club sells. I don't think he will be a Liverpool player come the time the transfer window closes. I don't think john stones will hand in a transfer request at Everton and I think Chelsea will end up paying 25-30 million for Sakho. I think he will be a shoe in for the French squad regardless of being used as a sub and as such I think he will be happy to warm the bench at Chelsea for a season or two. If he is as good as people think he may want CL football even if it is being used as a sub, maybe that will be more beneficial to his international career than playing in a team in the El In a defence that isn't too great.
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Rodgers couldn't spot a player if his teeth depended on it. If the owners have over-ruled him, then that can only be a good thing.
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Rodgers couldn't spot a player if his teeth depended on it. If the owners have over-ruled him, then that can only be a good thing.


It's a fucking ridiculous state of affairs and something that should have been sorted out in the summer, the fact it hasn't is again piss poor by the club/management and gives me no faith going forward.
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JermainePennant
Aug 22 2015 06:27 PM
I can't believe in a summer window where BR has been given full control over transfers the board would say do what you want but you can't sell Sakho, was the committe able to convince them by showing our defensive record since he's been here or his list of injuries?

Players were frozen out this summer but Sakho was not one of them as he traveled with the club abroad.Every journo has said the board have given BR full control so he has no excuses, they won't be making him keep players he doesn't want and won't be offering them new contracts.
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Chelsea won't buy Sakho.
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I don't think the board or committee would over rule Rodgers and say that Sakho couldn't be sold. However, it definitely wouldn't be the manager that would dictate the price, which is what seems to have stopped any move. 

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Gizza job

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CNA4vsjUEAAlvOZ.jpg

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"Tonight Matthew, I'm going to be Miley Cyrus"
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He hasn't justified the reputation he came with as a world class centre back. 

 

Don't believe the hype. 

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Sakho's quality, he's at least as good as the likes of Mangala and Otamendi and Stones.
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I don't think that Sakho not playing is down to Rodgers I think it is down to the fact that Sakho wants out. I don't think he has settled in the city and I reckon this new contract situation is little more than an exit strategy for him. 

 

To be fair to Sakho, he's been almost non-stop out there visiting hospitals and the like, doing tons of charity work.  I can'r remember any other player who has worked so tirelessly off the pitch.  

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I don't think he's the second coming of Alan Hansen by any means and I agree with some of the criticism levelled at Sakho but trying to spin him leaving as anything other than negative would be hard to take seriously for me

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Sakho's quality, he's at least as good as the likes of Mangala and Otamendi.


Never heard of the cunts.
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I don't think he's the second coming of Alan Hansen by any means



That's right, he's the second coming of Marcel Desailly.
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Rodgers isn't including him in the squad because he has him up and down the country all week decorating his two thousand houses, and the poor fucker can barely stand come Friday he's so tired.

The £100k a week offer isn't from the club, it's from Brendan's own pocket. Heard this from a human ruin driving a blue taxi in Liverpool, who spat neat lemon juice every time he so much as took a breath.
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Chelsea won't buy Sakho.

They will if we say he's not for sale at any price.

 

I don't think it's a Rodgers vs Committee thing though. Borini was Rodgers vaunted first signing and he's been trotting around with a for sale sign on for at least two seasons. I feel that Gomez has enough talent to help Lovren out on the left, if it were Moreno and Lovren on the left he'd have to play Sakho out of desperation - they're both worth 5 to 10 goals a season to the opposition on their own and in tandem probably 25. Personally, I'd play Flanno in a wheelchair ahead of Moreno but for some reason he seems to be popular.

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He hasn't justified the reputation he came with as a world class centre back. 
 
Don't believe the hype.


I'm struggling with Lovren being an actual centre back.
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Lovren has done ok in the first two games but I wouldnt guarantee he has become a world class defender based on those games. Having Toure before Sakho(assuming no injury problems) is the kind of stunt which a previous Spanish manager,who could actually spot a defender,might have tried and at least he had the success to back up his own judgement.
Toure before Sakho is absolute bonkers.
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Lovren has done ok in the first two games but I wouldnt guarantee he has become a world class defender based on those games. Having Toure before Sakho(assuming no injury problems) is the kind of stunt which a previous Spanish manager,who could actually spot a defender,might have tried and at least he had the success to back up his own judgement.
Toure before Sakho is absolute bonkers.

 

I don't care what the stats say Lovren has looked vulnerable and had the ref done his job on Monday he would have been responsible for the goal that conceivably lost us the game 

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I don't care what the stats say Lovren has looked vulnerable and had the ref done his job on Monday he would have been responsible for the goal that conceivably lost us the game


Nonsense
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I'm struggling with Lovren being an actual centre back.

 

I note your concern.

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It's difficult to believe the new contract is Rodgers' idea. My best guess would be that they’ve said to him “you can sell all the dead wood nobody wants, but we’re not letting you sell anyone good when you yourself might not even be here in a few months”.

 

That would be dangerously close to common sense - can't believe the club would be in for that.

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