Why Liverpool must resist urge to listen to offers for defender

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In all competitions this season, Liverpool have lost more than half the games that blundering defensive pairing Martin Skrtel and Dejan Lovren have started together, but have lost just of the 11 outings in which they’ve been separated.

Despite the pair’s obvious failings on the pitch this season, along with goalkeeper Simon Mignolet who has already copped a bullet for his poor form, the rest of the defensive fraternity at Anfield have seemingly been declared guilty by association.

Reports have emerged that as many as 11 defenders employed by the club are unsure of their futures under Brendan Rodgers, with the likes of Kolo Toure and Jon Flanagan fretting over expiring contracts and others cast aside on loan, like Tiago Ilori, wondering if they will ever return.

One man who has perhaps been unfairly tarnished by Skrtel and Lovren’s bumbling brush is Mamadou Sakho, the French import from Paris Saint-Germain who promised much during his debut season with the Reds last term.

Injury problems have scuppered his involvement this term, but it’s also thought that the towering centre-back is falling out of favour with Rodgers having only returned to the starting lineup against Arsenal last time out after an absence of 18 all-competition matches.

Unlike Toure or Ilori though, Sakho isn’t in possession of a soon-to-be-expired contract and isn’t unloved enough to be farmed out on loan elsewhere. In fact, going on his performances last term alone, selling the 24-year-old would seem a short-sighted move by Rodgers.

Sakho has the pace and power to be a success for the Reds, who are 13/2 to qualify for a second consecutive Champions League space, all he needs is a run in the side to prove it.

With so much money spent, and seemingly wasted, on Lovren, making the Frenchman culpable for a bad signing would be an act of poor management from the Northern Irishman.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.