By Emma Sanders

Liverpool Under-23s coach, Michael Beale has hinted Mamadou Sakho could return to first team action in a few weeks after recent performances have impressed.

The 26 year-old has not featured for Liverpool’s first team since April 2016 after he was initially frozen out following a drug allegation.

Sakho was then sent home from Liverpool’s pre-season tour and has been training with the Under-23s squad this season.

Beale believes the France international has worked hard and could return to first team action again soon.

“Mama is training with us and he’s working hard every day. That’s the closest he’s looked to full fitness,” Beale told the Liverpool Echo.

“I think a couple more games like that [in the Under-23s clash against Manchester United] and we’ll see what happens from there.

“I thought Mama [Sakho] looked strong. He was a good guide for young Tiago [Ilori] alongside him who seems to be in fine form too.”

Sakho struggled with an injury during pre-season and was left sid-lined as Jurgen Klopp’s side competed in several North West friendlies during the preparation period.

However, Sakho joined the squad on their LFC pre-season tour before being sent home early due to misbehaviour and Klopp has since vowed the defender must “find himself again” before he will be allowed to represent the team.

It was expected that Sakho would leave the club on loan before the transfer window closed but he remained in Merseyside, stating he wanted to fight for his place in the side.

Last season, he was one of Liverpool’s most important players and built a reputation as the club’s best centre-back.

However, Joel Matip, Ragnar Klavan and Dejan Lovren are all ahead in the pecking order now and Sakho will have a tough job trying to convince Klopp of his deserved inclusion in the team.

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