As the summer transfer window wound down it became clear that Jurgen Klopp’s preference was to loan out Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho. Even for a manager who walks on water at Anfield, this stance was viewed unfavourably by fans.
Strong links with Stoke surfaced, yet once the Sky Sports’ yellow-tie brigade had finally left their training ground car-park posts, Sakho remained a Red.
Having courted controversy thanks to a Uefa charge for a banned substance and having been sent home from the club’s pre-season training camp owing to a behaviour-related misdemeanor, it seemed that the Frenchman’s decision to dig his heels in may have been in vain.
Despite being exonerated of his alleged offence, from the outside Sakho’s relationship with Klopp had deteriorated to the point of irreparable.
But, that theory has since been quashed to the relief of Kopites who had regularly chanted the defender’s name last season.
In his pre-match press conference ahead of the visit of champions Leicester City, the German gaffer was quizzed about his defender’s position at the club.
“It is not a problem. He doesn’t have to gain my trust,” said Klopp. He couldn’t play football for a long time.
“Now it is about making Mama fit – what he isn’t after this long time with suspension and injury – and we will see what happens.”
Having played an integral role in getting Liverpool into the latter stages of the Europa League last season before Uefa’s charge arose in March, the French international was enjoying his best campaign to date since an £18m move from Paris St-Germain in 2014.
If the left-sided centre-half can get back to full fitness, he could yet have a big bearing on the Reds’ campaign.
Liverpool are 7/10 to give the first crowd of the new Anfield era three points on Saturday evening.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.