Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has revealed that Mamadou Sakho made a big impression on him and Steven Gerrard during a charity match last year, while predicting that the French international is primed to impress quickly in the Premier League.
Sakho made a deadline-day switch to Anfield from Paris Saint-Germain last week after finding first-team opportunities limited in the French capital, with Brazilian duo Alex and Thiago Silva blocking his path into Laurent Blanc's starting XI for the Ligue 1 champions.
Carragher has shared that he started at centre-back alongside Sakho during a match organised by former Reds boss Gerard Houllier in Corsica last year, with the powerful defender making a lasting impression on him and Reds skipper Gerrard, who also played that day.
He told the Liverpool Echo: "I played alongside Sakho. How did it go? Well we won 2-1! I talked him through it and he was fine. But I remember on the flight home Gerard having a really good word with him, even though he wasn't his manager, saying what he needed to do to improve.
"I thought that was typical Gerard, always attention to detail! It wasn't even his player and he was trying to improve him. He later said to me, 'He's going to be a player, him'.
"He's at a great age, physically he's ready for the Premier League, it will just be interesting to see where the manager brings him in. He's left-sided and there's competition for places everywhere now."
The 23-year-old is in contention to make his Liverpool debut against Swansea City on Monday night, as Reds boss Brendan Rodgers prepares to face his former side at the Liberty Stadium.
Sakho is competing for a place in the starting XI alongside a trio of international centre-backs, with Kolo Toure, Daniel Agger and Martin Srktel helping to form strong competition for places in that position on Merseyside.