Despite only spending a few months there, Mamadou Sakho was in the running to be named Crystal Palace’s player of the season such was his importance to the south London club’s Premier League survival. Now, though, his future is up in the air, and at least one former Liverpool player is worried.
“There is a chance Sakho ends up back there,” former Reds’ fullback Steve Nicol said on ESPN when asked if he thinks the French defender could end up back at Liverpool. “If they don’t make any signings then they are going to have to keep him, [and] if you think Sakho is our saviour then we’re in trouble.”
It seems unlikely. First off, because if Liverpool don’t sign any players, they will still have Ragnar Klavan and Joe Gomez to back up Joël Matip and Dejan Lovren. If anything, that’s more depth for Jürgen Klopp to work with than when he exiled Sakho from the first team in the autumn of last season.
Then, with Gomez still out with an ACL injury, Lucas Leiva became the fourth centre half. Even if Liverpool don’t sign a new centre half and even if they cannot find a permanent home for Sakho, a return to Anfield and with it a major role seems unlikely—in reality, it would just lead to another spell on loan.
Whatever happens over the next few months when it comes to Liverpool’s attempts to strengthen at the back, and whatever happens with their attempts to find a home for Sakho, Nicol’s fears of the the Frenchman returning, like a new signing, to be Liverpool’s supposed saviour seem unfounded.
For others, of course, that Sakho might do just that would be a hope rather than a fear, and for them too it seems something best not considered. For better or worse, Sakho’s time at Anfield is over. He will be gone, either off on loan again or to a new permanent home and regardless of who Liverpool bring in.