9 Mar 2017

Legend claims: 'Exceptional' £20m powerhouse is 'better than Lucas and Lovren'. Liverpool player next season?

Mamadou Sakho: Sell or Keep? Sakho's long-term future is currently up in the air, but according to Liverpool legend Steve Nicol, Liverpool can do better than the beleaguered French defender.

When asked this week about Klopp's decision to ostracise Sakho, and farm him out on loan during the January transfer window, Nicol told ESPN:

"Sakho is better than Lucas, and he’s maybe slightly better than Lovren, but Liverpool were losing against teams they should’ve have done when Sakho was playing".

Over the weekend, Jurgen Klopp appeared to suggest that Sakho may still have a Liverpool future, but anyone who doesn't have their head stuck in the sand will probably concede that he is a dead man walking at Anfield.

From Liverpool's perspective, Sakho - who, according to Sam Allardyce, was 'frozen out' by Klopp - is currently in the shop window, and he's making a good impression at Crystal Palace, which will only increase the possibility of a deal going through this summer.

Given the fact Sakho is a dedicated central defender, he's obviously a better option than Lucas, but overall, is he - as Nicol suggests - 'better' than Lovren? I conducted a detailed 22-point statistical comparison between the two last season, and over a two year period, Sakho came out on top.

Things may have changed since then, but as Nicol notes, Liverpool lost games with Sakho in the team (including a 6-1 defeat against Stoke City), so it's arguably moot. Plus, with Lovren clearly preferred by Klopp, Sakho is just a few months away from taking his place on the Anfield scrapheap.

^ Hailed by Gary Lineker as an 'exceptional defender'.


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