Of the many defenders the 25-year-old faced, he has identified Fonte as the hardest and has also been impressed with Atletico Madrid-owned Alderweireld.
“The hardest defender I played against was the Southampton defender Jose Fonte, who was a very strong defender in a very good team,” Sakho wrote on West Ham’s official website. “He and the other centre-back Toby Alderweireld are both very good defenders.”
Fonte was one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League in the recently concluded 2014-15 season, perhaps even the best.
The 31-year-old Portugal international featured in 37 league matches for the Saints, creating 10 chances in the process.
The former Crystal Palace defender had a pass accuracy of 84% and a shot accuracy of 31%, and won 58 headers, four dribbles and 57 tackles.
Alderweireld was also an important player for Southampton in the 2014-15 season, having joined the Saints from Atletico on a season-long loan deal in the summer of 2014.
The 26-year-old, who has now returned to his parent club, scored one goal and created seven chances in 26 Premier League appearances, while having a pass accuracy of 80% and a shot accuracy of 58%.