• Premier League

I was right to join Liverpool - Sakho

ESPN staff
September 6, 2013
ESPN FC: On the up at Anfield?

Liverpool's win over Manchester United convinced Mamadou Sakho he had "made the right choice" in moving to Anfield.

Sakho penned a four-year deal after agreeing to an £18 million move from Paris Saint-Germain, the club where he was one of the rare talents to emerge from the youth academy to become a first-team regular and French international.

Though it was a wrench to leave the French capital, where Sakho was also born, the powerfully-built defender has no doubts he has taken the right step forward having seen his new club defeat their arch-rivals in last weekend's Premier League encounter, which Liverpool won 1-0.

"It confirmed that I had made the right choice.," the 23-year-old told L'Equipe. "The fans are fantastic, and it's a great team. The fans' songs are beautiful even if -- for the moment -- I don't understand English.

"The Premier League is the best in the world. Liverpool were the club which proposed me a project which I most identified with. The directors were able to convince me."

PSG president Nasser Al Khelaifi had declared he would go to great lengths to keep Sakho before eventually ceding to the player's will to seek a fresh challenge. With Thiago Silva and Alex seemingly PSG coach Laurent Blanc's preferred centre-back pairing, Sakho did not appear for the Ligue 1 champions this season, losing his place in the France squad as a consequence.

The summer arrival of Marquinhos merely added to the ferocious competition for playing time in the French capital, but Sakho claimed his international prospects with the 2014 World Cup looming, and not fear of having to fight for his place, provoked his move to Anfield.

"Contrary to what I've heard, competition has never scared me," said Sakho, who will challenge the likes of Daniel Agger, Kolo Toure and Martin Skrtel to be an integral part of Brendan Rodgers' plans. "I grew up fighting. Do you think there won't be competition in my position at Liverpool?"

"I make my decisions based on my beliefs and my career choices. Laurent Blanc said it himself, and confirmed it to me, that players often make their choices in relation to the national team. That's what's happened to me. I've been in the French team for four years, and the only time I haven't been picked was for Euro 2012. That still sticks in my throat, but it made me grow up. I just want that it doesn't happen again."

He added: "My main aim is to keep improving, and then achieve the objectives I set myself at the start of my career. It's my career which has dictated this choice. I accept that with no regrets. I'm now at a super club with fantastic support."

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