By Matt Farr
Stan Collymore has slated Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp for his decision to let Mamadou Sakho leave the club.
Sakho, 27, quit the club in January to join Crystal Palace on loan until the end of the season, but Collymore insists he could have had a big role to play in the Liverpool first team squad.
The French defender had been frozen out of the setup at Anfield, and has not played a game for Liverpool since April, with Klopp telling him he had no future at the club.
Klopp had grown frustrated at Sakho’s attitude following a series of no-shows during Liverpool’s pre-season tour of the United States.
However, in his column for the Mirror, Collymore slated the decision to axe Sakho, insisting that he sold their best defender.
He wrote: “FSG (the club’s owners) didn’t make the decision to let Mamadou Sakho, the club’s best in-box defender, go when they still needed him.
“That was down to Klopp, because his pride was more important than putting an arm around Sakho’s shoulder and telling him he was the best thing since sliced bread.
“He should have used him until the end of the season and then biffed him off. That would have been the clever thing to do. But Klopp knew better.
“And in booting him out of the club, he basically left himself with a back four that’s almost unfit for purpose.”
Liverpool’s defensive woes have long continued in Sakho’s absence, with Klopp seeing fit to deploy midfielder Lucas Leiva as a centre back in attempt to stop the rot.
But with just one clean sheet from their seven Premier League matches in 2017, it is clear there is still a lot of work to do to solve their problems.
Sakho, meanwhile, has thrived since leaving Liverpool, and has become an important player for Crystal Palace in their battle against relegation.
His commanding displays against Middlesbrough and West Brom ensured Palace completed back-to-back wins for the first time in six months, and back-to-back clean sheets for the first time in almost a year.