Yesterday, Jürgen Klopp was asked about the situation regarding Mamadou Sakho and, as always with the German manager, things were straightforward.
Liverpool’s French defender has been in hot water several times this year. I barely need to remind you of his drug scandal and his recent expulsion from the team has received as much publicity as Paul Pogba’s £89 million move to Manchester United.
The reason why Sakho’s ill discipline has received so much attention is because he has been properly dealt with and there were genuine disciplinary measures taken to punish him for his transgressions. In the past, under Brendan Rodgers and Roy Hodgson, you would be forgiven for thinking that they didn’t rule with an iron fist, so to speak.
Klopp is known for being a lovable man while simultaneously being unforgiving and having no time for those who can’t prove their professionalism. Another thing that is great about him, is that he puts it all in the open when asked to.
When probed about Sakho’s tenuous status within the squad, Klopp replied, “We have to make Mama fit now. In the situation in the open transfer phase, you have to prepare decisions – you have to make decisions and you have to prepare [for] the situation after the window closes.
“You have to think about a few things and when you do this, you have to tell the players the truth, because after the closing of the window the situation is like it is and you cannot change the squad situation anymore.
“Not only with Mama, but that’s what I did with the players – with all of them. I told them what I thought what would be the best. Now the squad is like it is and at this moment, it’s about making Mama fit, which he isn’t – that’s how it is after this long time with suspension and injury.
“Then we will see what happens and I have no idea what will happen when because it is about who plays how, who performs how, how good are our results – all that stuff. At the end, Mama knows and I know from my side [so] that’s enough.”
Klopp continued: “He couldn’t play football for a long time and that’s how it is. Then it makes sense after the long break if you think about how can you get match time? It’s difficult here – I have to say hopefully difficult because the other players are fit and hopefully stay fit. It’s not ‘hopefully’ for Mama of course, but for the squad and for results and all that stuff.
“You have to speak about this before the window closes because that’s the moment you can make decisions and that’s what I did. I’m not silly enough to forget good performances or things like this, but in the end we will see – we will see what happens.
“That’s all [there is] to say because the rest would be too much, not too much about what we spoke [about], [it was] only about the situation. It’s normal now, now the squad is clear, you cannot change it anymore, now it’s all good, now we have one more good centre-half – good, all good. But for him, it needs time – that’s how it is.
“I can’t change [it] because I don’t make the rules of this kind, it is part of the game – it is your body. That’s what we have to do now with him and we will see what happens.”
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