After watching Anfield hail centre-back Mamadou Sakho, Jurgen Klopp echoed supporters’ praise for the Frenchman, among many others.
But his presence in the Liverpool first team was not guaranteed under Klopp’s predecessor, Brendan Rodgers, with the Ulsterman actively seeking to replace him with £20 million signing Dejan Lovren.
But a combination of Lovren’s injury and poor form, and Sakho’s strong performances, have underlined his key status under Klopp.
At Anfield on Thursday, the 25-year-old combined defensive strength with progressive play in possession, often seen charging down the left flank, and this complete skill set will be cherished by the German.
Saluting the crowd on the final whistle, Sakho was greeted with the now-customary “Sakho! Sakho!” chant, and the manager echoed this sentiment.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo‘s Andy Kelly on Friday, Klopp discussed his “spectacular” output.
“I can’t say anything about [his position under Rodgers]. Maybe he was not fit or things like this,” he explained.
“But I can understand why they shouted his name.
“Mama was really spectacular defending and good playing football.”
Sakho was not the only player to receive praise from Klopp, however, as he continued to highlight the positives drawn from this Merseyside stalemate.
“But he was not 100 percent better than the other players, so you see the game was not too bad. They tried,” he continued.
“I don’t know, when did Joe Allen play last time? Only because of the yellow card we had to take him out.
“Origi is young, has not played 90 minutes for a long, long time, but played 90 again this week.
“Both full-backs were on the road, ran for their lives, so we had those options, that’s what we need.
“Now we have to train, to work together, and it will get better for sure and then we’ll get the results.”
Klopp has taken a commendable approach in the early days of his Liverpool reign, focussing solely on the players at his disposal—despite his squad being significantly hampered with injuries.
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