Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce opened up about how much Mamadou Sakho has actually helped the side this season. The Eagles were struggling under their new manager Allardyce but there has been an upturn in their results as they now are out of the relegation zone, but sit just a point above the bottom three.
The former England manager didn’t have the greatest of starts to his career at Selhurst Park and had to dip into the market in the winter window to strengthen the squad.
Sakho was one of a few players who came to the club from Liverpool but the Frenchman is on loan till the end of the season. The former PSG defender was part of the team that defeated Middlesbrough and also West Brom and Allardyce was happy with the new players, which includes Patrick van Aanholt and Luka Milivojevic.
“I think two people on this front, Luka and Mama have given us more defensive resilience,” he said.“We are more defensive in terms of the capabilities of looking after the opposition’s attacking forces have been improved by those two players and Patrick.
“We have found that we are more difficult to score against which has been one of my first aims, my first targets ever since I first came here.
“Once we began to do that we began to win football matches and three wins out of five have all come because we can keep clean sheets so the basis of our defensive unit has grown and got better and that has been a good way forward for us to get out of the trouble we are in.
“Mama has played a big part in that, as have Luka and Patrick, and the whole team as a whole are defending better.”
Will be tough to sign Sakho
Sakho is not part of Jurgen Klopp’s plans and will most likely be sold in the summer window. The French defender hasn’t played a minute for Liverpool this season and even though he has settled in well at Palace, Allardyce was unsure about the club signing him for the future.
“It would be a big negotiation at the end of the season if we were to stay in the Premier League,” he said. “At this moment in time Mama has chosen Crystal Palace to play first-team football, I think he has settled into the environment exceptionally well.
“He has worked extremely hard at getting himself fitter because he had not played a competitive game all season and he has shown what a good defender he is, and his capabilities on the ball — in possession he has been exceptionally good.”
Sakho probably will move to another country come the end of the season and if he performs to his best abilities at Palace, he could still be in line for a big-money move.