By Christopher Atkins (Featured Columnist) on September 1, 2013
Paris Saint-Germain centre-back Mamadou Sakho is set to be announced as a Liverpool player in the coming days after agreeing a move to the Anfield side. Ben Smith of BBC Sport is one of many reporting the news.
Sakho, 23, has spent his entire career to date with the Parisien side, but has fallen behind Brazilians Thiago Silva, Alex and, most recently, Marquinhos in the pecking order.
Still a regular feature in Didier Deschamps' France squads, however, the commanding defender and former PSG captain has chosen to move on, with the World Cup next summer a priority.
Smith suggests that Sakho's transfer will cost Liverpool £13 million—a hefty fee for a player with one year remaining on his current contract.
However, Brendan Rodgers will know that, in Sakho, he will have a player with enormous potential who simply hasn't quite maximised his abilities thus far in his career.
Liverpool have been looking to find a new centre-back partner for Daniel Agger for some time, and Sakho is an ideal candidate. With impressive physical strength and good technical abilities, it is just on the mental side of his game that he needs to improve—an area where Agger is generally very strong.
With a bit of guidance, as well as a manager who will cajole him and offer full belief in his abilities, there is no reason why Sakho cannot still become the player he was once expected to be—a truly dominant central defender.
With Liverpool outside of European competitions this season, it is a policy Rodgers must look to adopt.
The club failed with audacious bids for Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Willian this summer, with the lure of continental competitions taking them elsewhere.
It is to the likes of Sakho, or even Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge before him, that the Reds must look—highly talented players who had lost their way somewhat. Give such players belief and a system to which they are suited, and the rewards could be great, at well below their potential future valuations.
It is, of course, a far from foolproof plan, but no transfers are guaranteed to be a success. Coutinho and Sturridge have already made a significant impact at Anfield, and Sakho will have to work hard to achieve similar performance levels.
With motivation surely not a problem with a place in Brazil next summer on the line and a need to prove himself after his fall from grace in Paris, it is surely to be expected that Sakho would be ready to put in the work required.
The potential is there for Sakho to make a sizable impact and, if he can, Liverpool would have a player ready-made for Champions League football in the future.
Regardless of the result against Manchester United at Anfield later today, there is undoubtedly a feel-good factor around Liverpool at present, and the signing of Sakho would only help continue that trend.
At £13 million, given some of the huge transfer fees that have been discussed this summer, it would appear another very astute signing by Brendan Rodgers and his backroom team.Bleacher Report