Mamadou Sakho being ruled out for two months is a massive blow for Liverpool.
The French defender has arguably been the Reds' best player this season but they will have to do without him until the new year after he picked up a knee ligament injury against Crystal Palace on Sunday.
The injury means Sakho is added to the growing list of long-term injuries at the club with Danny Ings and Joe Gomez already ruled out for the season with anterior cruciate ligament problems.
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The latest injury is probably the biggest setback for the club though with Sakho becoming a fan favourite due to his excellent performances in recent weeks. It’s no coincidence that Liverpool had only conceded five goals in their previous eight matches before this weekend, with him marshalling the back four superbly.
His performances haven’t gone unnoticed by the Anfield faithful either with cries of ‘Sakho, Sakho, Sakho’ everytime the 25-year-old flies in with a robust tackle and ultimately comes away with the ball.
Writhing in pain
On Sunday you could sense the crowd’s fear that Sakho had been badly injured whilst writhing around in pain on the Anfield turf. His name echoed around the stadium in the hope that he would miraculously recover. The chants appeared to have their desired effect as Sakho, epitomising his attitude, returned to the pitch and attempted to continue.
But minutes later he was down again and the 44,000 inside the ground fell silent fearing they may have just lost their defender for a long time.
Sakho’s partnership with Martin Skrtel at the heart of the defence was starting to look fairly solid, with the lanky Frenchman ordering his team mates around. There were even calls for him to take over as captain in the absence of Jordan Henderson due to his brilliant leadership skills.
But it seems that Skrtel will now be joined by Dejan Lovren, a partnership that hasn’t been too convincing in the past.
But it’s not just Sakho’s crunching tackles that Liverpool will miss. His ability to hit a 30-yard pass, as well as a crisp ball into the feet of the likes of Philippe Coutinho, often starts attacks for the Reds.
Klopp knows how costly Sakho's injury could be by claiming that he "would rather lose 4-1 if it meant keeping him in the team." A statement that all Liverpool fans would surely agree with.
He was starting to get a consistent run in the side and was looking like the player Liverpool had splashed £18 million on.
His knee injury could have been much worse and he is fortunate not to have joined Gomez and Ings in the ‘out for the season’ category, but Liverpool will certainly miss their new fan favourite over the next couple of months.
Who should replace Sakho in the Liverpool side? Give YOUR opinion in the comment box below