3 Sep 2016

Reds Hero insists: 'Spectacular' £20m powerhouse could replace Liverpool misfit in Klopp's team. Good idea?

In a rather surprising move, Jurgen Klopp named Liverpool outcast Mamadou Sakho in his Premier League squad for the first part of the season, and although he probably has little chance of usurping Matip, Lovren, and Klavan at centre-back, ex-Red Neil Mellow suggests that there may be another role for Sakho in the team.

In his column for the Liverpool Echo this week, Mellor - who'll always be remembered for his goal and assist (for Gerrard) against Olympiakos in 2005 - explained:

"Left-back could offer Sakho the opportunity of a way back in. It’s obviously not his favourite position but he has featured there in the past a couple of times".

Sakho* played as a left-back several times under Brendan Rodgers, but always looked uncomfortable in the role, with Liverpool's 1-0 home defeat to Southampton in 2013 a prime example of why he should only be used there as a last resort.

For me, the problem with Sakho at left-back is that he tends to panic when isolated against the touchline, and this invariably leads to misplaced passes, rash decisions, and/or loss of possession.

From a central position, Sakho's passing accuracy and distribution are generally excellent, but that's mainly because he has more time and space on the ball, and can see the whole pitch in front of him.

If a centre-back has to deputise on the left, then Ragnar Klavan is the obvious solution. Klavan has played that role many times for Augsburg/Estonia, and he is arguably far more composed on the ball, especially under pressure.

Whatever happens, even with his weaknesses, Sakho is probably a better option than the continually error-prone Alberto Moreno (!)

* Cost Liverpool £20m. Hailed by Klopp last season as 'really spectacular'.


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