Crystal Palace defender Mamadou Sakho has spoken about his ongoing desire to compete in the Champions League, as part of an interview with French publication RMC Sport, during the recent international break.
The central defender is now being looked upon as a major doubt for the Eagles’ trip to face Manchester United this weekend, having been taken off during France’s 1-0 victory over Uruguay with back pain, leaving Roy Hodgson potentially missing three of his regular back four for the Old Trafford clash.
Should he not be able to take part, you’d assume that one of Martin Kelly or Jairo Reidewald will take his place but given the comments he’s made this week, we may well need to start prepping for life without him, regardless of any niggling injuries he may be feeling.
In fairness to Mama, interviews which are translated from one language to another often lose something in between but with Crystal Palace nowhere close to qualifying for Europe, it’s difficult not to see his comments as a hint that he may look to fly the nest when the current campaign draws to a close.
As someone who has recently represented both Liverpool and PSG, it stands to reason that Sakho would be keen to return to the European stage before it’s too late; that said, a section of the Palace support will feel understandably hurt by the Frenchman going public over his openness to a move, particularly when you consider the predicament that we currently find ourselves in at the wrong end of the table.
Had Sakho himself nodded home a free header from six yards at home to Newcastle and not elbowed a Bournemouth player in the final moments of our game against Bournemouth, we’d be sitting on 11 points heading into this weekend’s game, rather than being outside of the bottom three on goal difference alone.
Let’s hope, if he is to move on next summer, it comes after six months of stellar performances at the back rather than going out with a whimper.