Crystal Palace have left it late to secure their second permanent signing of the transfer window. Mamadou Sakho is the man who’ll be rejoining the Eagles after he spent the second half of last season on loan at Selhurst Park.
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) September 1, 2017
Crystal Palace Sign Mamadou Sakho
Things are looking glum in SE25. Palace have been left pointless after three matches. Falling to Huddersfield and Swansea City at home, the Eagles clearly need to turn things around. Stuck in a fight for Premier League survival last season, Palace brought in Mamadou Sakho on loan who would eventually see them through to another year in England’s top flight. Hoping to avoid that same battle this time around, they’ve moved to bring their man back to Selhurst. The French International joins from Liverpool on a four-year deal for an undisclosed fee believed to be around £26 million.
Sakho joined Liverpool from Paris Saint-Germain in 2013. He was signed to the French giants after impressing in their academy. Froom 2007 to 2013, Sakho made 200 appearances for Les Parisiens while managing seven goals. Although he struggled through different injuries during his time at Liverpool, the big man made 80 appearances for the Reds. Towards the latter end of the 2015/16 season, Sakho was hit with a 30-day doping ban after he allegedly failed a drug test. Missing the last four Premier League matches of the season and three Europa League matches (including the final against Sevilla), this was the beginning of his downfall at Anfield. He never featured for Liverpool again, and, in January of 2017, was loaned out to the Eagles.
The 27-year-old made eight appearances for Palace and missed out on the club’s last four matches of the season through injury. Despite not scoring for the Eagles, Sakho proved to be vital for the side’s survival. With four clean sheets, five wins and a draw to Leicester it’s clear to see why Steve Parish and the Palace board decided to bring him back on a permanent basis.
Sakho to Selhurst
With a backline of three, Sakho should immediately step into one of those spots. He’d likely find himself paired with Scott Dann and Timothy Fosuh-Mensah. Upon his return from injury, the versatile Jairo Riedewald will probably be pushed to the wingback position, meaning Joel Ward could be sacrificed. Sakho will ensure the defence remains compact not allowing the opposition to break them down. An aggressive centre-half, he’s never scared to put in a tackle and challenge for the ball. He will be exactly what Crystal Palace need to build a strong defensive unit. Whether he’ll fit into a side with manager Frank de Boer’s influenced style of play is a question that will soon be answered, but it’s a risk the club are willing to take.
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