Mamadou Sakho Reveals He Has Been Nicknamed 'Killer' at Liverpool
Sakho, who joined the Reds from Paris Saint-Germain earlier this summer, has a reputation for his uncompromising style and is enjoying his new moniker.
He said of his new life in England, per Yorke's article:
I just bought a house in the suburbs of Liverpool, not far from Steven Gerrard’s home.
When it comes to driving, I’ve found myself on the right once or twice! But I’m going to get a driver. It will be easier.
As for the football, I am not experienced (in English football) in the same way (as in France).
I am learning and I listen to the instructions of the coach. It’s funny, he (Brendan Rodgers) calls me Killer! On the training ground, I try to adapt myself to my team-mates.
And it’s getting better and better as I learn the language because I need to communicate. I take English classes.
At Liverpool, there are some really good players in my position but this competition is healthy.
Thus far in England, Sakho's on-pitch transition has been relatively straightforward following a couple of hiccups on debut against Swansea and then in defeat to Southampton. Two league wins have followed in the club's new 3-4-1-2 system, and the Frenchman has steadily improved game upon game.
After long periods of inactivity at PSG, it will take time for the 23-year-old to get fully up to speed in his new surroundings, but he has the potential to be a fantastic investment at £17 million.
Per WhoScored statistics, Sakho's contribution to the side is already looking significant. He has made the second-most interceptions and clearances per game of any player in the Liverpool squad, while also winning two-thirds of his aerial challenges.
His significant size makes him a considerable physical challenge for any striker, but Sakho is also comfortable playing out of defence and is well suited to Rodgers' philosophy in that respect. The following stat from the recent win over Crystal Palace testifies to his quality:
Liverpool's back three of Mamadou Sakho, Martin Skrtel & Kolo Toure completed 93% of their passes in the 1st half. Comfortable on the ball.— Squawka Football (@Squawka) October 5, 2013
Sakho is more inclined to come out of the defensive line and make an early intervention than his new colleagues, who have thus far been Martin Skrtel and Kolo Toure, and that impulsive nature was partly to blame for his mistakes against Swansea days after his arrival.
He has settled well, though, and Skrtel was full of praise for his new colleague in an interview with Liverpoolfc.com this week:
He is still young but he's an experienced player. He's a French international and he's played many games for PSG.
In the games he has started he has shown how good he is, he's fitted into the team well and he's doing well at the moment.
I'm happy for him and happy for the team because he is a good player for us. I just hope things carry on this way.
Sakho's hand was forced at PSG, with the arrival of Brazilian youngster Marquinhos forcing him further down the pecking order ahead of next summer's World Cup—in which he is expected to feature for France.
With Liverpool flying high in the Premier League at present, he would appear to have a good platform to impress as the Reds seek a return to challenging for honours and Champions League football.
Long regarded as one of French football's biggest talents, Sakho already looks very much at home in his new surroundings—to the point where he is relishing his new nickname.
Liverpool have a young side with several players seeking to prove themselves after spells at previous clubs in which they had appeared to stray from their pre-destined path to the top.
Along with Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho, Sakho has found that it is at Anfield he can reach the consistent performance levels he has always promised on a regular basis. If he continues to do so, the Reds will have a fine defender on their hands for many years to come.
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