Houiller tipped Liverpool’s Sakho to become a star, reveals Carragher

Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher reveals ex-Reds boss Gerard Houllier tipped Mamadou Sakho to become a star

jamie carragher
Jamie Carragher retired from professional football in May

Jamie Carragher has revealed former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier tipped Mamadou Sakho to become a star 18 months ago.

The France international signed a long-term deal with the Reds after Brendan Rodgers splashed £18m to bring the defender to Anfield from Paris Saint-Germain on deadline day.

Carragher, who retired in May, played alongside the 22-year-old in a charity game organised by Houllier 18 months ago when Sakho was emerging as a talent at PSG.

“I played alongside Sakho,” Carragher told Liverpool Echo. “How did it go? Well we won 2-1! I talked him through it and he was fine.

“But I remember on the flight home Gerard Houllier having a really good word with him, even though he wasn’t his manager, saying what he needed to do to improve.

“I thought that was typical Gerard, always attention to detail!

“It wasn’t even his player and he was trying to improve him. He later said to me, ‘He’s going to be a player, him’.”

However, Carragher is unsure where Rodgers plans to play Sakho with centre-halves Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel and Kolo Toure all in good form at the start of the season.

“He’s at a great age, physically he’s ready for the Premier League, it will just be interesting to see where the manager brings him in,” he said.

“He’s left-sided and there’s competition for places everywhere now. Cissokho’s been brought in to put pressure on Enrique, Skrtel’s done really well in the Manchester United game, while Toure’s been a revelation. In the first three games he was superb so we’ll be looking to get him back against Swansea.

“Competition’s what you want, but of course you don’t want your best players on the bench.

“I think the manager just has to juggle it round a little bit now and use the best two. The young lad Thiago Ilori will be one for the future I think, maybe next season, but the sort of money that has been spent on Sakho would suggest he is going to be a starter.”

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