Writer: Gavin Kelley-Day
Date:Wednesday September 11 2013
Retired defender Jamie Carragher has backed Mamadou Sakho to make an instant impact at his former club...
New Liverpool signing Mamadou Sakho will go straight into the Reds' first-team, according to club legend Jamie Carragher.
Sakho, a £17million deadline day capture from Paris Saint-Germain, arrives with a big reputation but must compete with the likes of Daniel Agger, Kolo Toure and Martin Skrtel to earn a starting place.
The 23-year-old is a former PSG captain with 14 senior French caps to his name but departed Les Parisiens after struggling to usher Brazilian pair Thiago Silva and Alex from the side.
He will clearly be hoping to avoid a similar situation at Anfield.
Reassuringly, Carragher, who knows a thing or two about Liverpool rearguards following a career spent exclusively at Anfield, believes Sakho has all the assets to succeed on Merseyside.
"He's at a great age, physically he's ready for the Premier League, it will just be interesting to see where the manager brings him in," said the former Reds vice-captain in quotes published by the Liverpool ECHO.
"He's left-sided and there's competition for places everywhere now. Cissokho's been brought in to put pressure on Enrique, Skrtel's done really well in the Manchester United game, while Toure's been a revelation. In the first three games he was superb so we'll be looking to get him back against Swansea.
"Competition's what you want, but of course you don't want your best players on the bench.
"I think the manager just has to juggle it round a little bit now and use the best two. The young lad Thiago Ilori will be one for the future I think, maybe next season, but the sort of money that has been spent on Sakho would suggest he is going to be a starter."
Interestingly, Carragher also revealed that he and Sakho once played together in a charity match organised by ex-Kop boss Gerard Houllier.
Discussing the experience, which occurred 18 months ago, Carragher recounted: "We won 2-1! I talked him through it and he was fine.
"But I remember on the flight home Gerard Houllier having a really good word with him, even though he wasn't his manager, saying what he needed to do to improve.
"I thought that was typical Gerard, always attention to detail!
"It wasn't even his player and he was trying to improve him. He later said to me, 'He's going to be a player, him'."
The amount of money spent on Sakho, as Carra eludes to, would suggest he is viewed as a player for the here and now, which begs the question; who will be left out? Three clean sheets from three in the league makes it an even more taxing decision. For me, if everyone is fit, I would continue with Agger and Toure for the time being and allow Sakho time to settle and learn the language etc.
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Date:Wednesday September 11 2013
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