Liverpool centre-back Mamadou Sakho has reportedly returned to first team training as he continues his efforts to show his dedication to manager Jurgen Klopp and the Merseyside club.
In a season that began with Sakho out of favour under former manager Brendan Rodgers, the Frenchman forced his way back into the starting eleven after a series of high-profile defensive errors by team-mate Dejan Lovren. He went on to become a fixture in the Reds’ back line, especially after the appointment of Klopp as Rodgers’ replacement.
The season was proving to be somewhat of a high-point for Sakho, with one particularly memorable moment in which he scored against Merseyside rivals Everton in a 4-0 win. This was doomed not to last, however, when he was issued a 30 day provisional suspension for the “the alleged use of an illicit substance”, which could have been extended further, pending the findings of a further investigation.
This severe lack of playing time led to gim having to miss the Europa League final against defending champions and eventual winners, Sevilla, as well as missing out on being included in the French national team’s run to the Euro 2016 final.
After training with the remaining members of the Liverpool squad, having being cleared of all doping charges, the Frenchman sustained an achilles tendon injury that would cause him to miss the start of the upcoming season. This didn’t stop Klopp from including him in the roster for the Reds’ pre-season tour of USA.
However, after angering his manager through ill discipline, Sakho was later sent home from the tour and made to train at Melwood in a bid to regain his fitness. It was later revealed that the Liverpool number 3 had disregarded the importance of punctuality, turning up late on three separate occasions. This fuelled further speculation of a falling-out between player and manager, which was refuted when Klopp said that the centre-back’s early return was purely disciplinary.
However, his lack of interaction with the first team squad left it looking increasingly likely that Sakho would leave on loan before the close of the transfer window. The possibility even grew when the likes of Roma, Stoke and West Brom showed interest in the Frenchman.
But after resisting the advances of potential suitors, the centre-half decided to stay and fight for his place at the club, in a bid to win back his first team berth at the heart of the Reds’ defence.
Sakho Returns To First Team Training
With the Frenchman now having returned to first team training, he now faces a challenge in winning back his place in the Liverpool defence. The Merseyside club will be playing in domestic league and cup competitions, having finished eighth last season, missing out on European qualification.
Sakho made 30 appearances in all competitions last season, scoring two goals.