Mamadou Sakho made a stunning start to life in a Crystal Palace shirt on Saturday, playing a pivotal part in a morale boosting 1-0 victory against fellow relegation battlers Middlesbrough at Selhurst Park.
Having been left out in the cold by Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool for close to a year, the Frenchman took the decision to join Crystal Palace on loan in January, desperate to prove to an ever-growing band of doubters that he still had the necessary physical and mental attributes to be a success in the Premier League; if his debut in red and blue was anything to go by, the former PSG man is feeling better than ever before.
Given a starting role against Aitor Karanka’s Boro next to James Tomkins at the heart of Palace’s back four, the Liverpool loanee brought a sense of confidence and calm to our play from the very first minute, proving to be a physically dominant building block upon which the Eagles were able to build momentum and eventually secure a massive result on an overcast afternoon in SE25.
Without wanting to tread on the toes of the above piece too much, it’s interesting to note that Sakho’s isolation from the Reds’ set-up hasn’t come as a consequence of on-field issues alone. The France international is well-known across the game as something of a lively character, with certain comments and incidents having rubbed Liverpool gaffer Jurgen Klopp up the wrong way once too often in the last 12 months or so.
It is thanks to that personality clash that we now have Mamadou on our books, which is something I can only be thankful for following on from his masterful display in central defence last weekend. We must all be careful not to get too carried away with any individual player after just one game but I’m pretty comfortable in stating that Sakho played as big a role as anyone in us emerging victorious on Saturday.
I thoroughly recommend taking a minute or two out of your day to read the piece attached above. It paints a full and colourful picture of Palace’s latest recruit. He’s the sort of character who will become a cult hero at our club extremely quickly if things continue as they are.
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