These stories from Mamadou Sakho's time at PSG may sound familiar to Liverpool fans 7 years ago

These stories from Mamadou Sakho's time at PSG may sound familiar to Liverpool fans

Mamadou Sakho was a talented, fan favourite at Paris Saint-Germain.

However, he experienced disciplinary issues, got on the wrong side of coaches, fell down the pecking order before leaving the club for Liverpool in 2013.


Something similar appears to be occurring at Liverpool

Sakho is a fan favourite at Anfield, and had impressed on the field until been banned by UEFA for failing a drugs test on March 17, due to the taking slimming pills.

The ban was lifted in the summer, but the 26-year-old has since got on the wrong side of Jurgen Klopp, and was sent home from the club's pre-season tour of the United States.

Klopp told the defender he would find first-team opportunities limited this season, and that he should go out on-loan to regain form and fitness. Sakho refused.


Sakho's plight at Anfield is very similar to his career trajectory at PSG, as this article from 2013 by Jonathan Johnson for ESPN details

New York Red Bulls v Paris St Germain - Emirates Cup

Sakho made his debut for the French side when he was just 17, and was captain by 21. However, according to Johnson, his star waned due to a combination of disciplinary issues, strained relationships with coaches and problems with diet, Sakho went from being indispensable to fourth-choice central defender, before departing.

According to Johnson:


"...despite those traits making Sakho a potential world-class defender, the Frenchman has some character flaws that were eventually too severe to overcome in Paris.

"His attitude, a lack of discipline including poor dieting habits and fractious relationships with certain members of staff, particularly in the early days, put his future at the club in jeopardy a long time ago. Many of his coaches were unhappy with his unprofessional demeanour, peaking with a nasty altercation with a journalist regarding his social habits, and PSG actually almost got rid of him as a teenager. However, at that time Sakho focused enough on his football to stay, although he arguably never embraced being a true professional."

Sakho reportedly struggled with the pressure of being captain. The club began to change rapidly when it was bought by Qatar Sports Investments in 2011, and bought Alex and Thiago Silva as competition for Sakho.

Manchester City v Paris Saint-Germain - UEFA Cup

According to Johnson:


"Sakho also had to deal with criticism from within the hierarchy; sporting director Leonardo remarking that he was "a bit overweight" when asked why he wasn't featuring in the first team towards the end of the 2011-12 season. Then PSG managed to snare Brazil captain Thiago Silva from AC Milan at high cost, meaning there was realistically only one place in the side that he could now expect to occupy."

Sakho maintained his cult status amongst fans, but new arrivals, coupled with coaches appearing to run out of patience, ultimately led to Sakho's departure as, according to Johnson, the player failed to "grow up."

"He has not regressed, but he has also not evolved into the player that so many predicted that he would become two years ago. That is largely down to his loveable, but at times debilitating immaturity.

"In essence, he needs to grow up. The move to Liverpool could be perfect for that, and if he does then the Reds have some genuine leadership material on their hands."

You can full the article here. While we're not privy to all that occurs behind the scenes at Liverpool, Sakho's current situation sounds very similar to what he experienced at PSG.

The new GAA Hour football podcast is out. Listen to Colm Parkinson, Barry Cahill, and Senan Connell dissect a classic between Dublin and Kerry. Subscribe here on iTunes.