This summer one area of genuine concern for Liverpool FC was how they go about replacing a certain Jamie Carragher. The lifelong Liverpool player had long been the heart and soul of the clubs defence and achieved an almost god-like status with the Liverpool faithful for his committed defensive displays.
The obvious reality is this, they will never replace Carragher in regards the perception the Liverpool fans have of him - nobody will ever be able to fill those boots, and asking someone to do so is destining them to fail.
But they did need to sign a top quality centre-back, which is what they have done in the form of Mamadou Sakho.
The French international is a victim of the financial clout now available at Paris Saint-Germain - a victim Liverpool have gladly taken in for a handsome fee of £15 million.
What they have on their books now is 6ft 2ins of raw physical talent who also possesses an innate ability for the finer points of the game - they have the ultimate diamond ready to be shined.
"I wish all the best for him. Mamadou Sakho was in the team last year, but we recruited Marquinhos this summer. With five central defenders for two positions it was too much. Mamadou agreed competition. After all it is a year of the World Cup, I know what it can bring to a player. He wanted more playing time, but the season of PSG had not yet begun when he left. He joined a great club and I wish all the best for him. I wanted him to stay and play competition. But there was one too many.’’
A ringing endorsement there then from the man who just sold him.
Sakho made his debut against Swansea City in the clubs 2-2 draw on Monday and will be hoping to have a more solid performance in his home debut against Southampton tomorrow, where he will be introduced to the talents of Rickie Lambert for the first time.
For Sakho a clean sheet will go a long way toward showing to his new followers he is the man to replace Carragher on the field, and prove to PSG that they made a mistake a selling him this summer.
image: © psgmag.net