Mamadou Sakho insists he’s fighting to become a regular at Liverpool after signing a new long-term contract, believed to be five years, at Anfield.
The France defender, known as “The Beast” has put pen to paper on a deal which reportedly commits his future to Anfield until the summer of 2020.
Sakho moved to Liverpool from Paris Saint-Germain in 2013 for a fee of £18million and wore the captain’s armband for the first time in Thursday’s UEFA Europa League draw in Bordeaux.
The 25-year-old told the club’s official website: “I am very happy to sign a long-term contract with Liverpool because, as I’ve always said, I am very happy here and my family are happy in Liverpool.
“It is important for me because every day when I wake up, I am very happy to come into the training ground with all the players.”
The news will be welcomed by under-pressure Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers, who said Sakho was in contention to start in Sunday’s Barclays Premier League clash with Norwich.
Speaking before the news was formally announced, Rodgers said: “He (Sakho) is really working hard on his fitness and his game and I think you have seen the benefits of that.
“He was left out of the last France squad and you can go one of two ways – you can sulk, or you can put your head down and work even harder, and that is what he has done.
“I think you can see that in his performance last night. I thought he was brilliant in the game and that is what we want, so he has certainly brought himself into contention for the weekend.”
Sakho insists his next target is to win a regular place in Rodgers’ first-team plans after falling behind Dejan Lovren and Martin Skrtel in the pecking order.
Speaking to L’Equipe, Sakho said: “You must ask the coach [why I don’t play more]. I’m ready. When he calls me, I do my job. Everything is going very well. It’s just that there is a fairly large squad… I feel like a Red and accept the decisions of my coach.”
Sakho admits he must play regular football if he is to claim a place in France’s Euro 2016 squad and does admit he’s concerned about his lack of game time: “Of course, of course! I work to achieve the collective goals of the club but also my individual goals. The Euros is one. I have to give everything to have the most possible game time with Liverpool. I fight every day for that.”