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Sakho Signing Shows Progress

Date: 5th September 2013 at 3:50 pm
Written by: | Comments (10)

New Liverpool signingWHEN you’re not in the Champions League, Champions League level players are pretty tough to acquire.

Liverpool have learnt that the hard way this summer. Several ambitious targets have slipped through their net during the transfer window but eventually they have landed a prized catch. His signing may have been overshadowed by the deadline day deals involving Gareth Bale and Mesut Ozil, but ’s transfer to Liverpool feels pretty significant for a couple of reasons.

First of all, Liverpool have brought in a potentially world class player and that is never to be sniffed at. has been regarded as one of the most promising centre-halves in Europe for years. His early career was extremely impressive and before went out and bought their Brazilian trio of centre-backs (Thiago Silva, Alex and Marquinhos), Sakho was undoubtedly their main man.

Carlo Ancelotti and now Laurent Blanc may have preferred to marginalise their former captain in favour of those big signings from South America but Sakho remains a quality player with exceptional promise and many PSG fans disagreed with his relegation to the bench, and indeed his sale.

He’s young, quick, extremely physical and very experienced at the top level both internationally and in club football. If you’d said to a PSG fan 18 months ago that they would let their home grown captain leave in the near future they’d have thought you were crazy. Sakho was an icon for their club like Steven Gerrard is on Merseyside. Paris’ loss should be Liverpool’s gain. He’s had some difficult times of late at his hometown club but he is moving to Liverpool with the intention of participating in next summer’s World Cup for France. He should be motivated and if he’s on top of his game you’d imagine he establish himself as Liverpool’s first choice centre back pretty soon, such is his quality.

Aside from bringing in a potentially world class defender, the way Liverpool concluded this transfer was a little surprising and rather encouraging also.

The deal was concluded in good time and with little fuss which isn’t what many expected when the initial links to the player were made in the press. Make no mistake, lots of other clubs will have been looking at Sakho (he’s long been linked with AC Milan, for example) and he would have been a good a signing most top clubs. This wasn’t a situation like the transfers of Luis Alberto or Iago Aspas where Liverpool nipped in early in the summer and signed a player who was slightly under the radar with little competition. They went out and got a Champions League quality player in pretty decisive fashion. Given how that mid-summer lull of activity at Anfield went, this deal was somewhat of a contrast to what had gone before.

After that initial spurt of four signings early in the summer, Liverpool failed persuade Henrikh to join them instead of Borussia Dortmund. That was understandable given Dortmund’s performance in the Champions League last season and their current standing in general. The Reds then failed to prize Diego Costa from Atletico Madrid, another Champions League club. Again, you can’t really blame Costa for sticking with a club in Europe’s elite competition. Finally, Liverpool refused to pay over their valuation for Anzhi Makhachkala’s winger and subsequently missed out on ’ remaining ‘marquee’ attacking target.

That Willian deal nearly broke Twitter. Plenty of people were questioning why Liverpool hadn’t gone the extra mile to ensure that they obtained the Brazilian. Willian’s addition would have been exciting and he’d have potentially rounded off a mouth watering attacking quartet alongside Coutinho, Suarez and Sturridge. Ultimately though, the transfer committee at Anfield decided against paying over the odds for Willian and Liverpool fans understandably weren’t too happy about it. Many thought that it showed a lack of ambition not to pay top dollar for a top target and frustration was everywhere as Liverpool missed out again.

When you consider all that went on with that Willian deal and the stance that the club ultimately stuck by, it highlights just how differently Liverpool have acted in signing Sakho. They have brought in a very good player but you could easily make the argument that they have overpaid on Sakho’s market value to secure his signature. The circumstances that Sakho was in at PSG certainly suggest that.

First of all, he only had a year left on his deal at PSG, thus obviously decreasing his value significantly. Secondly, he was desperate to leave the French capital to regain his place in his national side. Thirdly, PSG already had three players in his position that they rate higher. Basically, all the cards seemed to be in Liverpool’s hands when it came to negotiating a deal and yet they still paid a pretty large fee of £15m for the player.

This may sound like I’m criticising Liverpool’s approach to the deal but it is quite the opposite. It was refreshing to see Liverpool identify an ambitious target, pay what was needed and get the deal done before we entered Jim White territory.

Too often Liverpool have dithered in the transfer market and it has cost them. We’ve seen it this summer too, much to everyone’s chagrin. Perhaps the club have finally realised that sometimes you have to pay a little extra to acquire your top targets and ensure that no other clubs can hijack a deal as negotiations drag on. It is to be hoped that Sakho’s arrival is evidence of Liverpool learning some lessons and revising their strategy slightly. It’s a shame that this didn’t happen with attacking targets like Willian but at least the club finally got the experienced centre-back that Brendan Rodgers’ has craved all summer long.

£15m for Mamadou Sakho looks like a lot of money, but it could prove to be a steal. Hopefully he succeeds and proves to Liverpool’s transfer committee that sometimes in football, you simply get what you pay for.

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10 thoughts on “Sakho Signing Shows Progress

  • REDDY
    11 months ago

    I think Henrikh Mkhitaryan should have been the signing we went all out for. He already has 3 goals this season for Dortmund and looks a classy player! I think that’s wat we need is a world class attacking midfielder. Countinho can do it but while I think he is a great palyer with lots of skill and class, he still needs a little more time. He is just 20 Henrikh Mkhitaryan is 24… That little extra experience and maturity is wat we need right now. We have enough young great players and I really do think we are in good footing for the future and a lot of the thanks need to go to Benitez cos he brought in alot of these young players

    Reply
  • pino pino
    11 months ago

    nice article

    Reply
  • NigerianKOP Onyedika
    11 months ago

    Nna eh, am happy we secured his(Sakho) services, i pray that Tiago Ilori comes and play for Nigeria.. His dad is nigerian and mum is portuguese. Am Happy he joined my darling LFC.

    Reply
  • Taiwo Oluseun
    11 months ago

    Moses wil take liverpool 2 d proverbial promise land. He has don it 4 Nigeria b4 Just wait and see.

    Reply
  • abdorito
    11 months ago

    Sakho is pure class. Those who watch the French Ligue would know what a steal LFC just made. He was just a victim of the Brazilian-Quatari maffia (Leonardo the director+Thiago Silva+Alex+the owners).

    Reply
  • Prole
    11 months ago

    If he’s that good, then where dose this leave Toure, Ilori and Skrtle? Anyone?

    Reply
    • Prole
      11 months ago

      Other than on the bench of course. :)

      Reply
  • jdel
    11 months ago

    Agger – Toure
    Sakho – Skrtel
    Ilori – Wisdom

    What’s the trouble there?

    Kolo will hopefully continue his good form until Sakho can get up to speed, then he will be that ‘experienced back-up’ for our team from then on (with his contract expiring in two years). Agger is the new vice-captain, so he will start most often, but he’s as susceptible as anyone in the league to injury (and in Sakho and Ilori, we have two promising players who both enjoy LCB, and Ilori especially enjoys the ball at his feet.). Wisdom was meant to go out on loan this season (good thing he didn’t, as GJ is out with a high sprained ankle and Kelly isn’t up to speed yet), but he will go out on loan in either January or next summer. Skrtel is meant to continue doing what he does (and maybe be will get sold if he doesn’t keep up his form, and maybe he won’t).

    We’re in a great position defensively, were spoilt for choice — but they’re all different kinds of defenders. Some have more pace than others, some are better on the ball, some are better man markers, some are natural leaders & organizers…

    We can finally tailor our defense for each game, with FOUR very good senior CBs to choose from…

    And then, next summer, we can sell one if we want to (or keep them all if we’re in CL and deem it necessary for depth), and reshuffle our resources again…

    So what’s the trouble? =)

    Reply
    • jdel
      11 months ago

      The plan for how we’ll look two years from now: Kolo and one of Skrtel or Agger (probably Skrtel) will be gone, leaving:

      Agger/Skrtel – Sakho
      Ilori – Wisdom

      And whoever else has caught the eye by then (hopefully, in our own academy, i.e. – Sama) will be pushing into the first team to provide competition in places again…

      (Also, of course, Coates’ LFC career is over as soon as it began.)

      Reply
  • Alex fergie
    11 months ago

    Skertel did a sans faute against MU. Bravo.

    Reply

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