Mamadou Sakho caught the eye in a performance for Liverpool Under-23s on Tuesday evening as they carved out a 1-1 draw with their Manchester United counterparts.
Sakho starred alongside Danny Ings – neither of whom have made Jurgen Klopp’s first-team plans so far this season – and were joined in the side by Marko Grujic and Kevin Stewart.
Captain Harry Wilson opened the scoring at Leigh Sports Village, turning in Pedro Chirivella’s shot.
But a penalty from Josh Harrop drew United level, and they would hold out for a draw which brings to an end Liverpool’s winning streak of four games.
James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo was at the game, and gave contrasting views on Sakho and Ings’ chances of breaking into the first team.
While he admits that Sakho ‘barely put a foot wrong’, Pearce added that ‘it’s difficult to see a way back for him under Jurgen Klopp’, and the 26-year-old ‘must surely be regretting his decision to ignore Klopp’s advice’ about leaving on loan to find first-team football.
‘A move away from Liverpool for Sakho looks increasingly inevitable whether that’s in January or next summer,’ Pearce wrote.
On the other hand, it is believed that Ings’ ‘chance will come’, as the striker was a constant threat against United despite not scoring.
He had a header cleared off the line late on as he continues his comeback from a knee ligament injury, and Pearce was glowing in his praise.
‘No matter what the opposition, you are guaranteed a proper shift from Ings and there’s good reason to believe he will have an important part to play under Klopp at some stage this term,’ he wrote.
‘Ings is the perfect fit for Klopp’s high-octane style. He sets the tone with his willingness to chase lost causes and badger defenders.’