Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists Mamadou Sakho does not have to regain his trust after a difficult four months but may have a tough time finding his way back into the team.
The France international served a 30-day suspension – meaning he missed the Europa League final – for a failed drugs test in April which was later rescinded and was then sent home from the club’s pre-season tour of the United States because of concerns over his attitude.
The defender was told by Klopp to go out on loan in August in order to show he was prepared to work to win back his place but the 26-year-old turned down moves to Stoke, West Brom and Besiktas.
“It is not a problem. He doesn’t have to gain my trust,” said Klopp.
“He couldn’t play football for a long time. It makes sense after a long break you think about how you can get match time and that is difficult here because the other players are fit and hopefully stay fit.
“I spoke to him before the window closed because that is the moment to make decisions and that is what I did.
“Not only with Mama but with all the players I told them all what I thought would be best and now the squad is like it is.
“I am not silly enough to forget good performances but in the end we will see what happens.
“We have one more good centre-half so it is all good but for him it needs 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.
“I have no idea what happens when because it is who plays how, who performs when, our results.
“At the end Mama knows and I know and from my side that is enough.”
One player who Klopp did manage to get rid of in the window was unwanted striker Mario Balotelli, who was told very early on in the German’s reign he was not part of his future plans.
Balotelli made a deadline day move to Ligue 1 Nice and the Italian’s agent Mino Raiola has since been particularly vocal in his criticism of Klopp for his treatment of the player.
However, the Liverpool manager is unconcerned by his comments and stressed the Italy striker was not frozen out.
“We didn’t isolate him,” said Klopp, who, when asked how much Raiola’s comments had affected him, replied “Nil point nil.
“That is part of the business I am not interested in. It is a free world so he can say what he wants, no problem.”