Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho is getting close to full fitness, according to the club's Under-23 coach. Michael Beale has praised the Frenchman's worth ethic since he started working with the Under-23 squad, saying he has shown a professional attitude after being demoted by Reds boss Jurgen Klopp.

Sakho, 26, has fallen out of favour at Anfield after he was sent home from the club's pre-season tour of America in July, with the defender reported to have irked Klopp with his poor timekeeping. But Beale has praised Sakho for his performance against Manchester United's under-23s in their 1-1 draw on Tuesday night (18 October).

"I thought Mama looked strong," he told the Liverpool Echo. "United were always looking for their No 9 (Scott McTominay) and his aerial threat but Mama showed his experience.

"He was a good guide for young Tiago Ilori alongside him who seems to be in fine form too at the moment. I am pleased to have them both as part of our team. They give us a platform to play."

Sakho ignored Klopp's call to go out on loan during the summer transfer window after overcoming an Achilles injury. And according to Beale, the out-of-favour Liverpool defender is now getting close to full fitness.

"Mama is training with us and he's working hard every day," the Liverpool coach explained. "That's the closest he's looked to full fitness. A couple more games like that and we'll see what happens from there."