It seems like Mamadou Sakho arriving at Anfield has come just in time, with Daniel Agger picking up a rib injury that might keep him out for at least one match. The French centre back isn’t completely match fit, speaking English or in sync with any of his defensive partners, but there’s plenty to be optimistic about.
While it’s easy to go out and blame Sakho for the defensive problems Liverpool had in the 2-2 draw with Swansea, it probably has a little more to do with the entire defensive setup, as Andre Wisdom was used at right back, Martin Skrtel started in the middle and Kolo Toure came on late in the match.
Sakho hasn’t played once this season for PSG, who preferred their Brazilian tandems to the young French international who has played very well for them during their championship campaign last season. Being seen as too talented to sit out for most of the season, not to mention wanting to have a shot at a place in the French squad for the 2014 World Cup, Sakho pushed for an exit, and Liverpool hauled him in for £18 million.
Composure, excellent timing when it comes to tackles and bravery. Sakho is quicker and faster than his size suggests, but it’ll show only after he gets some more minutes on the pitch and in training with his new club. Understanding with whoever partners up next to him until Daniel Agger is completely fit? It’s only a matter of time as well. If he was good enough to play well and start for PSG over the last couple of years, doing well for the French club, he should be fine at Liverpool.
But for now, patience is required for those waiting for immediate superb performances. Liverpool might have cause some to raise their levels of expectation after the three consecutive wins to start the season, but the draw in Swansea brought many back to earth. This is a team going through a process of improvement, which hopefully will land them in the Champions League in the next two years, and then possibly become title challengers. Sakho, once he has shrugged off all the rust, should be a big part of that plan.