Mamadou Sakho made his long awaited return for Liverpool when he featured for the U23 side in their 2-1 defeat to Wolfsburg in the International Cup. The defender was making his first appearance for the Reds since he played a starring role in the club's 4-0 win in the Merseyside derby in April earlier this year.
The defender was handed a 30-day suspension by Uefa after he allegedly failed a drug test and was under investigation in the latter stages of last season. The Frenchman was not part of the Liverpool squad for their Europa League final and even missed a chance to be part of the France squad that played in the European Championships in his homeland.
The charges, however, were later dismissed and the defender was allowed to resume his career with Liverpool. But an injury made sure that Sakho missed the Reds' entire pre-season tour and was not fit enough to start the season.
The France international was also guilty of breaching club rules during pre-season, which saw him fall out of favour and despite returning to fitness he has been overlooked by Jurgen Klopp for the first-team thus far this season. Ragner Klavan, Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren are the preferred choice at centre-back at the moment, but his appearance for the U23 could see the defender, who has been included in the 25-man squad, make an appearance this season.
Sakho played the entire 90 minutes for the U23 side against the German side despite being made available at the last minute. Reserve side manager Michael Beale admitted that he was satisfied with the defender's performance despite the late notice.
"He trained with us yesterday and it was all about seeing how he felt tonight. We had a quick chat with 10 minutes to go and he felt fine, no problems. I thought he acquitted himself well and was unlucky not to score (a late header which hit the post)," the U23 manager said, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo.