Suddenly, things are beginning to look up in a major way for Liverpool. The Reds have started the season with a trio of victories to sit atop the Premier League and are ending a successful summer with a good transfer deadline day, including the addition of Mamadou Sakho.
Liverpool announced the signing of Sakho, a 23-year-old French international defender, and also confirmed a deal bringing fellow back line rising star Tiago Ilori into the mix. The transfers will bolster a defensive group that's already off to a strong start.
Liverpool Football Club is delighted to announce the signing of Frenchman Mamadou Sakho from Paris Saint-Germain. pic.twitter.com/J0CbquFFT6— Liverpool FC (@LFC) September 2, 2013
Sakho is an intriguing player. A natural center back, he's also shown the ability to provide some versatility by playing on the left side. More importantly, he possesses all the physical tools necessary to become a major Premier League asset for the Reds.
He became expendable at Paris Saint-Germain due to the club's depth along the back line. Led by the Brazilian center back trio of Thiago Silva, Alex and Marquinhos, PSG are confident on defense and it led to an uncertain role for Sakho.
Instead of staying at the Parc des Princes and fighting for playing time throughout the campaign, Sakho moves to Liverpool, where he should become a fixture alongside Daniel Agger.
That's important for several reasons.
First, it will allow Sakho to continue his development as he enters a key stretch of his career. After showing promise in the early stages with PSG, his progress began to level off as the fight for playing time became a bigger concern.
It would have been very difficult for him to reach his potential while spending a lot of time on the sidelines at PSG. He needs to play on a consistent basis to take those next steps, an opportunity he should be offered with Liverpool.
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The other issue is next summer's World Cup. It's been on the mind of many players during the transfer period. The club campaign is crucial as national team coaches begin to sculpt their rosters for next summer's international showcase.
And it's hard to stand out from the crowd while on the bench. France is still battling for a spot through qualifying. If Sakho wants to take part in that process and potentially the World Cup, he needed to get away from PSG's defensive logjam.
So Sakho arrives to Anfield with plenty of upside and no shortage of motivation. He represents another wise signing under the guidance of Brendan Rodgers, who's done a nice job of identifying solid targets without having to fight big-spending clubs every step of the way.
It's probably going to take some time for Sakho to get back into peak fitness. Once he does, Liverpool will witness a physically-gifted, well-rounded defender with a good chance to become a stalwart member of the back line.
Over time he should develop into a terrific addition for the Reds.