Donuts. Swiss cheese. Hula hoops. Liverpool's defense. Things with holes can be fun as a dessert, delicious on a sandwich, an excellent way to get some physical exercise, or the quickest way to develop deep coronary problems. What should have been the position of least concern for Liverpool at the start of the season quickly became a source of ire as a revolving door of whoever was fit dutifully but perhaps not cohesively lined up in front of poor Simon Mignolet.
But never fear, friends, for Mamadou Sakho has returned to training. For real this time.
"He is back on the field," Brendan Rodgers confirmed. "Hopefully over the next week to 10 days, he won’t be far away."
It would be slightly optimistic to expect to see Sakho start this Saturday on the away visit to Southampton, but with Liverpool's match the following week against Sunderland temporarily postponed owing to the Black Cats' progression to the next round of the FA Cup, the next available start for the defender would be against Manchester United on March 16. The extra week of recovery should buy Sakho some additional time to get back up to speed with his teammates.
With Sakho's return comes a weight of expectation that many of Liverpool's defensive woes will be fixed. Few can agree which two of Liverpool's centre backs should start at the moment — are you a Skagger fan? Skolo? Kologger? — but with Sakho in the mix, his automatic inclusion in the starting eleven seems to be the one thing that unites everyone in the centre back debate.
Mamadou Sakho will return. If it comes with a clean sheet at Old Trafford, it will be even sweeter. Especially if there are donuts for dessert after.