Mamadou Sakho insists he did not consider leaving Liverpool despite struggling under Brendan Rodgers.
Sakho, now a mainstay of the Reds defence under new manager Jurgen Klopp, found game time at a premium under former boss Rodgers.
The defender, who was recently recalled to the French national team for the upcoming international friendlies, has made 18 appearances this season – already equal to his most ever in a Premier League season.
The 26-year-old did not feature for the first five league games under Rodgers, and was handed his first start by the Northern Irishman in the Europa League in September. Rodgers was subsequently sacked in October after struggling, and his replacement, Klopp, has identified Sakho as his first-choice centre-back.
Discussing his international call-up with French outlet RMC, Sakho said: “Yes, it’s nice to be in the selection. With the coach at Liverpool, it goes differently for me.
“He’s very human, super close to his players and all the members of the club. He is very kind.
“We feel he is very expressive but as we said from the beginning, this is really not to be mean to us. Rather, it is to encourage us.
“In football, a lot can happen off the field. The most important thing is to stay focused, serious. The former coach made the choices. I have accepted. I always remained myself and smiling in training.”
Asked whether he ever contemplated leaving when he was not a regular in the first team, Sakho replied: “Honestly not. I always felt good in Liverpool.
“When I was in France, I didn’t gauge the real impact of this club’s history. Once I set foot inside, it’s fabulous. There’s a healthy atmosphere. The team is young and talented.
“Honestly, I really like this city, these fans and with this magnificent stadium. I am someone who likes stability, it suits me perfectly.”