It was only a matter of time, really. Before the rumours linking Mamadou Sakho with a move away from the club started to bubble up. The defender may have had a baby earlier in the week, but having made himself available to travel, it was strange to see him left out of the lineup entirely against Stoke City.
Put alongside reports from journalists with ties to the club that Brendan Rodgers sees Dejan Lovren as being ahead of Sakho on the depth chart, and it’s hard to see his being left out as anything but a sign of dwindling prospects at Anfield. And so, right on queue, we get rumours out of Italy claim Roma are considering moving for him.
Football Italia claim Champions League side and Serie A runners-up Roma see the out of favour player as an appealing target, one they hadn’t thought would be available. Few Liverpool fans would have, either, and the club are still sending signals they don’t want to sell. However, things could get complicated if Sakho pushes for a move.
Sakho, expecting to start for France at next summer’s Euros in France, is too good to be stuck down Liverpool’s depth chart, competing for minutes in the League Cup. For the sake of his international chances, it could be he will quite reasonably see a move away as necessary. He may also feel he will never get a fair chance from the manager.
Last year, Brendan Rodgers handed a starting role to hand-picked £20M signing Lovren without making the defender earn it. In the process, it led to Daniel Agger being sold and Sakho being pushed down the depth chart. By the end of the season, Lovren had proven himself incapable and Sakho had done everything he could to earn the job.
Even leaving out potential national team issues, it would have to be hugely frustrating for Sakho on a personal level to enter into this season seeing Rodgers hit the re-set button on Lovren, undoing everything the two players did last year and putting both back right where they were in the pecking order 12 months ago. And so, Roma rumours.
Sakho may not end up there. Roma may not even be interested, given the unreliability of the Italian rumour mill. Yet, if the current situation at Liverpool stands, it’s difficult to imagine the player wouldn’t prefer a move away, both for the sake of his Euro hopes and in the hopes of finding a manager who better appreciates his talents.