There may be questions about Mamadou Sakho's role in Liverpool's first team, particularly given the club went out last summer and made Dejan Lovren their most expensive defensive signing ever. When it comes to Sakho's work off the pitch, though, it seems as though it's one feel good story after another.
Sakho has been heavily involved with charity work around Liverpool since arriving at the club a little more than a year ago. He spoke recently about his role in the community at a local gathering at All Saints school, where he has become something of a familiar face over the past year.
"It's good fun," he said. "I'm getting to know the kids and they get to know me. We're building a good rapport—it's cute to hear them speaking French with their accents. My own upbringing has taught me to be like that, and I want to do more, not just here in Liverpool but also back in France and Senegal."
Sakho, who grew up in a poor neighbourhood of Paris to immigrant parents, has been heavily involved in community programs since establishing himself as a first team player at PSG. When he moved to Liverpool, that interest in improving the lives of children in the larger community came with him.
"If they can grow as individuals by seeing someone in the public eye setting a good example—if you can help them in life in any way, whether it's within their schooling or in the area of sport—it's very important," he said. "In French we have a word for this, declic, which means the trigger or turning point, the moment of inspiration to push on when everything falls into place."
There may be questions about where he stands at the club, but there is little doubt that Sakho is one of Liverpool FC's best ambassadors. He's the kind of player and person it's very easy to hope to see succeed. Hopefully over the coming weeks he will be given the opportunity to do so.