Jurgen Klopp explains Mamadou Sakho's absence

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Few players have managed to go from hero to zero as quickly as Mamadou Sakho has at Liverpool.

Towards the end of last season, the 26-year-old looked to be forging a promising partnership with Dejan Lovren, but then, as Reds fans will remember, things suddenly went downhill.

Sakho was banned for using a fat-burning substance, of which he has since been cleared, but the suspension still saw him miss out on the Europa League final and Euro 2016.


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A difficult summer followed, and Jurgen Klopp then sent him home from the club's tour of the USA for repeated breaches of discipline.

With all that in mind, it hasn't come as a huge surprise that the Frenchman is yet to feature in the Premier League this season.

However, Klopp told the Liverpool Echo that while he has no personal problem with the centre-back, there is still a very good reason why he hasn't been playing.

Nothing personal 

“It’s not a problem. You don’t have to gain my trust. It’s a situation we have spoken about before," he said.

“He didn’t play football for a long time, he needs to play football. That’s difficult here because the other players are fit.

“We had to speak about it before the window closes - that’s what I did."

Despite the pair's apparently frosty relationship during the close season, it seems Sakho's career at Anfield isn't dead and buried after all.

"I’m not silly enough to forget good performances," Klopp added.

Sakho needs fitness 

“Now it’s all good. We have one more centre-half. But for him it needs time. I don’t make the rules.”

Sakho only recently returned to training with the first team, and it's going to be difficult for him to work his way back into Klopp's starting XI given the number of centre-backs now at the club.

Injuries to Ragnar Klavan and Joe Gomez might work in his favour, but that still leaves Lovren and Joel Matip ahead of him in the pecking order.

With Liverpool's bad luck in that department, Klopp may have realised he needs to keep Sakho on side, so it's just as well he's offering him an olive branch.

Should Mamadou Sakho be starting for Liverpool? Have your say in the comments.

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Steven Gerrard
Europa League
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