Liverpool Transfer Rumours: Mamadou Sakho Would Solve Reds' Defensive Issues
Centre-back is one of the last remaining areas of concern for Liverpool and it's a problem they could address by signing Paris Saint-Germain centre-back Mamadou Sakho.
Jamie Sanderson of Metro reported Sakho would welcome a move to Anfield:
Liverpool are hopeful of pulling off the signing of defender Mamadou Sakho after he told PSG he is desperate to move to Anfield this summer.
Brendan Rodgers is keen to add another centre back to his squad before the transfer window shuts on September 2, and Sakho is a key target.
The Reds have already approached PSG to discuss a deal, but their opening offer of £8million was rejected, with the French club speaking to other clubs about the player.
However, Sakho has made it clear to PSG this week that Liverpool is the only club he is interested in joining, and had ordered them to let him move to Merseyside.
Liverpool have gotten their business done very quickly this summer. It's a rare case of the Reds actually having a plan in the transfer market and also making prudent purchases.
What they haven't done is get either a centre-back or a defensive midfielder. At least they could get half of those holes filled before the summer is over.
Liverpool need to add another first-team CB who is a younger option than Kolo Toure and a more reliable defender than Martin Skrtel.
Daniel Agger isn't going anywhere, but the depth behind him is not enough to inspire much confidence that this is a defence for a top four club.
Should the Reds snag the 23-year-old centre-back, they would have found the player who can help to shore up the centre of defence and who's also the kind of defender who fits into Brendan Rodgers' system.
This isn't going to be a Skrtel situation, where you've got a player who's the antithesis of quick football and passing it out from the back.
According to WhoScored, Sakho completed 91.6 percent of his passes during the Ligue 1 season. Much like Agger, the young Frenchman is capable of getting the attack started from the back or clearing the ball out of danger without simply knocking it out of play.
He's smart enough to pick out his passes and won't get pressured into making sloppy back passes.
Far from being a liability at the back, Sakho won 3.1 aerial duels per game last season, ninth in Ligue 1. His 6.0 clearances a game were 0.3 less than Thiago Silva, generally regarded as the best centre-back in the world.
According to Squawka, Sakho won 69 percent of his aerial duels. That's 7 percent more than Agger and 4 percent more than Skrtel.
Sakho has had a hard time at PSG over the past few seasons. There have been some costly errors and poor performances.
What hasn't helped is Silva's presence. Although there isn't a better central defender in the world, he hasn't exactly been the best partner for Sakho.
Silva has barely a rudimentary knowledge of the French language and speaks only Portuguese on the pitch. That has led to Alex often being the other centre-back, leaving little opportunity for Sakho to get in the first team.
When the young Frenchman is on the pitch, you can see that he and Silva have little or no communication with each other.
Which centre-back would you like to see Liverpool buy?
Once Sakho gets to a new club and a new situation, he'll flourish. Transitioning to the Premier League would be tough in the early stages and there would be a few silly mistakes.
Those problems will come with any new player you bring in.
By moving to Anfield, Sakho would be guaranteed to become a fixture in the back four. By playing every week and having a manager who has confidence in his ability, he can become the player he cannot be at PSG.
The shaky defender you saw at times last season would be completely absent and, in his place, you'd see a Sakho who can lead the defensive line every week.
Rodgers would put a great exclamation point on Liverpool's transfer business by bringing in the young Frenchman.
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