It’s taken a year longer than it should have, a spell in the reserves and six months out on loan and an entire summer needlessly spent training on his own. But today, finally, Mamadou Sakho is officially no longer a Liverpool player.
His move to Crystal Palace almost didn’t happen, with Liverpool rejecting a £25M bid from the London club on Wednesday, at which point they looked to Manchester City reject Eliaquim Mangala at a more reasonable £18M.
Somewhat surprisingly, though, Palace didn’t ever really stop looking at Sakho—and with Mangala blocking a move to Palace despite their offer of £120k per week for the player, in the end that worked out in Palace and Sakho’s favour.
While Mangala’s long-term future is now uncertain, Sakho’s no longer is. An improved offer of £26M with around £24M of the fee paid up front was enough to convince Liverpool to sell with time on the window quickly running out.
Sakho, now 27 years of age, arrived at Anfield in the summer of 2013 in an £18M deal after falling down the pecking order at Paris Saint-Germain, and the awkward looking defender quickly endeared himself to Liverpool fans.
In total, he made 80 appearances in all competitions across three seasons for the club before a subsequently overturned doping charge became the rather unfortunate beginning of the end for his time at Anfield.
Pre-season injury and a falling out with manager Jürgen Klopp soon followed, after which the player refused a transfer, spent time in the reserves, and eventually headed to Crystal Palace on loan in the spring of 2017.
Now he’s heading there again, only this time it’s in a permanent deal that’s been a long, long time in coming. Hopefully the former French international can take the chance and get his career back on track.