Date: 10th November 2014 at 6:52pm
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Mamadou Sakho believes he can offer the leadership skills Liverpool are currently missing in defence.

The French international has not featured since the 3-1 defeat at Upton Park, having injured his thigh.

But the 24-year-old is hoping to be fit for the Reds next game at Crystal Palace, and admits he has improved his English in order to help communicate better with his fellow defenders.

“For me it (leadership) comes naturally. There are different kinds of leaders technical leaders, dressing room leaders, psychological leaders,” he said.

“I’d rather keep my personal objectives to myself so people don’t think I’m too pretentious. But I am a very ambitious person, I have set personal objectives, the team has set some too and they are quite similar.”

Sakho has featured from the start four times this season, in the victories over Tottenham, Ludogorets and Middlesbrough in the Capital One Cup, as well as the home defeat to Aston Villa.

He came off the bench with the Reds trailing 2-0 at Upton Park in September, and has not featured for the side since.

Now close to a return, Sakho is hoping to show the same leadership qualities which saw him famously captain Paris St Germain at the tender age of 17.

“The moment will stay with me forever,” he said. “But in football you need to move on. I am not 17 any more, I am 24. My career is different now. Everything I’ve accomplished has helped me gather experience but now I must move on and look forward.

“(Joining Liverpool) is the next step in my career, a new experience which allows me to grow,” he told Champions magazine. “I am still in my learning phase. Little by little I’ll start to open up even more because when you don’t speak a language well enough, it’s difficult to show your character; it’s difficult to communicate.

“But it will come, little by little. I’ve improved my English. I understand a lot better, especially the local Scouse accent. I’m still working.

“I’ve been spending afternoons with the kids regularly since I arrived at Liverpool. I am always happy to give French lessons and share some sport sessions with them. It’s important for them and me.”