Crystal Palace defender Mamadou Sakho has struggled with injuries since the start of the last calendar year.
After recovering from a serious knee injury in the first half of 2019, the 30-year-old picked up a hamstring injury in his side’s 1-1 draw against Norwich City on New Year’s Day. Since then he has not featured for the Eagles.
Despite the Frenchman’s injury woes, he remains an attractive prospect in the transfer market.
On May 29th, L’Equipe reported that Lyon are ‘determined’ to sign the former Liverpool man and have been working ‘in the greatest discretion’ to bring the defender back to France.
Former France international Willy Sagnol appeared as a guest on RMC’s After Foot and has warned the Ligue 1 side not to sign his compatriot.
“When an English club lets a player go, who is just 30 years old, that is not a good sign. The Premier League demands a lot physically, athletically and in terms of intensity. It’s a league that wears you out,” Sagnol said.
“In terms of character, yes, I think he can bring a lot to this team. Lack of character has been a recurrent evil at Lyon for three or four years. But he can only bring it [character], if he plays and if he is not regularly injured.
“It’s been a while since I saw Mamadou Sakho play for Crystal Palace. I think if he had been in good shape, we would have seen him again in the French national team. [But,] we haven’t seen him again. It is not very positive.
“It’s a big transfer that will be expensive, in terms of price and wages. For French clubs, it is necessary to reduce the risks of being wrong. Unfortunately, I think there are a lot of risks (for Lyon to sign Sakho).”
Sakho has been restricted to only six starts in the league this season, with Roy Hodgson having to pick other players ahead in the heart of the back four.
The ex-PSG defender’s contract at Selhurst Park expires in 2021 and this summer could be the last big chance for Palace to recoup a part of the investment they made to sign him in 2017.