After plenty of speculation this summer, the Eagles finally completed the permanent signing of Mamadou Sakho from Liverpool in a move that has been warmly received by Palace supporters, with memories still fresh of his exploits last season in red and blue stripes.
Sam Allardyce’s team won five and drew one of the eight matches that Sakho featured in during his loan spell to move away from the relegation zone, which equates to 39% of the club’s points haul during 2016/17. Their win percentage with him in the side was 63%, whilst without him it was just 29%.
As well as those key points, there are plenty of other stats that highlight the huge effect of the Frenchman’s presence in the backline. 57% of all of Palace’s clean sheets came when Sakho featured in the line-up, and that doesn’t include the fact that they were drawing 0-0 with Tottenham Hotspur before Sakho suffered the knee injury that prematurely ended his time in SE25.
No Palace player made more clearances than Sakho’s 47 whilst he was in the team, during which time he also recovered the ball more times than the rest of his teammates, doing so on 59 occasions. He also had the highest average pass completion rate of anyone playing at least 90 minutes, finishing his first stint in south London with a rating of 84.8%. As well as this, he was the Palace defender that won the most aerial challenges (19).
Only Luka Milivojevic, playing in the heart of midfield, made more interceptions for the Eagles during that eight-game spell, and despite playing in high-pressure encounters against the likes of Chelsea, Spurs and Arsenal, Sakho conceded just one foul in his 687 minutes of action. He also won over half of his duels, and won two-thirds of his tackles.
However, the only fact that really matters to Eagles fans is that Sakho will be proudly wearing the red and blue again this season, as he aims to once again help turn Palace’s fortunes around.
Mamadou Sakho’s Palace stats 2016/17:
Minutes played: 687
Passing accuracy: 84.84%
Aerial challenges won: 19
Tackle success rate: 67%
Duel Success rate: 50.01%
Fouls conceded: 1