19 Aug 2015

Shock Exit: 'Outstanding' £18m Liverpool star pushing to quit Anfield after Rodgers' snub vs. Bournemouth

On Monday, Reds boss Brendan Rodgers excluded Mamadou Sakho from Liverpool's match day squad for the second game in a row, and reports in France today suggest that the 'outstanding' France defender remains eager to quit Anfield before the transfer window closes.

The story so far:

July 2015:  La Lazio Siamo Noi claimed that Sakho - who cost Liverpool £18m - 'asked his agents' to find him a new club.

Aug 2015: An alleged CalcioMercato exclusive claimed that Sakho is one of Roma's top transfer targets.

Aug 2015: The Daily Express reported that Liverpool are 'in talks' with Roma over a possible deal.

Now, according to French newspaper L'Equipe:

* After being snubbed for the Bournemouth game, Sakho is 'questioning' his future at Liverpool.

* Sakho is 'interested' in signing for Roma, who remain keen on a transfer.

Sky Sports further reports:

"According to Sky sources, Liverpool have rejected approaches from Roma and Bayer Leverkusen for Mamadou Sakho"

Additional reports add that Leverkusen's best offer will be £7m (!)

A few points to consider:

* Rodgers failed to include Sakho in Liverpool's 16-man squad for the club's pre-season friendly against HJK Helsinki.

* Rodgers described Helsinki as the 'most successful team in Finland', and said he'd approach the fixture 'like a Premier League game'.

* Clyne, Lovren, Skrtel, and Gomez started that game, so it was clearly a defensive dry-run for the Premier League opener against Stoke.

* If Rodgers saw Sakho as a starter, he clearly would've included him in the Helsinki squad.

* The fan-created narrative is that Sakho missed the Stoke game due to the birth of his daughter, but the Frenchman trained all week, and travelled to the game, yet didn't even get a place on the bench. Why?

* Liverpool played Stoke FIVE days after the birth of Sakho's daughter. Are we to believe that he wasn't ready to play?

* In-denial fans claims that paternity leave is the reason for Sakho's ongoing omission from the squad, but Liverpool played Bournemouth 13 days after the birth. If Rodgers wanted him in the team, he would've played, irrespective of the birth, and I'm sure Sakho - who is desperate for a first-team place - would've answered the call.

With all this in mind, it's no surprise that Sakho wants out. With the European Championship next summer, he needs to be playing regularly, and it doesn't look like that's going to happen at Liverpool.

Additionally, Rodgers has made a rod for his own back by playing Lovren-Skrtel, and after two clean sheets in a row, the manager has no choice but to stick with the Croatian (which, based purely on merit, is the right decision).

When fit, Sakho is arguably a more effective defender than Lovren, but there's no point changing a settled defensive unit just to accommodate him in the team.

As such, unless Lovren or Skrtel make some major mistakes and/or concede a bucketload of goals (or get injured), Sakho faces an extended spell on the sidelines.

Of course, Liverpool can force Sakho to stay (just as they did with Suarez), but there's little benefit in keeping an unhappy player in the squad.

On a related note: If Liverpool end up selling Sakho for a measly £7m, it will be transfer negligence of the highest order. The best solution is (arguably) a loan deal, with an option to buy next summer.

Some fans may even baulk at that idea, but the reality is that Sakho is increasingly injury prone (Last season: 3 separate injuries; 30 games missed), and with only 46 appearances in 2 seasons (23 per year), he is unreliable.

Ultimately, Sakho's ability is somewhat irrelevant if Liverpool are unable to consistently benefit, so letting him leave might be the best solution all round...

survey solution

Author: Jaimie K


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