Mamadou Sakho is someone who divides opinion among the footballing fraternity, but Joey Barton and Gary Lineker hit the nail on the head with regards to the Frenchman on Thursday evening.
Sakho produced a solid performance in Liverpool’s 2-0 Europa League triumph over Man United, and he is getting back to his best after a poor run of form following injury earlier in the year.
The United attack barely got the better of him and centre-back partner Dejan Lovren at any point, and barring one shaky moment in the first-half, Sakho was virtually immaculate all evening. His passing, in particular, was very effective.
Reds supporters, and football fans in general, seem very split on the 26-year-old, with some seeing him as one of the Premier League‘s best centre-backs and others claiming him to be a walking disaster area.
Barton and Lineker were both watching the victory over United on Thursday evening, with the former taking to Twitter to voice his opinion on Sakho.
“Mamadou Sakho is the most unorthodox, efficient, unbalanced, effective defender on the Planet”, wrote Barton – which perhaps sums up the Liverpool defender quite accurately.
“Watching him is similar to viewing a clown spin plates,” joked Barton. “You are just waiting for them to smash on the floor. Yet, somehow he keeps it going.
“Contradicts the laws of motion with every touch. The man is genius. A true one off… ”
@Joey7Barton couldn't agree more. First thoughts were that he was hopeless, but actually he might just be brilliant.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) March 10, 2016
He may look ungainly, and does have the odd mistake in him, but when you actually assess his influence and effectiveness, he invariably shines.
Lineker was in agreeance with Barton, saying, “couldn’t agree more. First thoughts were that he was hopeless, but actually he might just be brilliant.”
The debate about just how good or bad Sakho is will never go away, because of his unique style, with fans and detractors of the France international both unlikely to change their opinion any time soon.
We’re a stubborn bunch.
What is clear, however, is that he is currently one of Liverpool’s most important defenders, and one of the few leaders in the squad.