The French central defender has been a revelation since joining Crystal Palace on loan from Liverpool in January, and has become a key figure in the Selhurst Park club’s climb away from the relegation zone.
Palace have kept four clean sheets in the six games that the 27-year-old has featured in, including Monday night’s sensational 3-0 win over Arsenal.
The win over the Gunners made it five wins from Palace’s last six games and puts them six points clear of the relegation zone with seven games left of their season.
The goals came from Townsend, Yohan Cabaye and Luka Milivojevic, but it was the new defensive solidity provided by Sakho that underpinned the performance.
Andros Townsend wants Crystal Palace to make Sakho's deal a permanent one
Sakho has said he still wants to make a success of his career at Liverpool, and it looks like it will be a difficult task for Palace to secure his £18 million signature permanently at the end of this season, but Townsend has urged them to do everything possible.
He said: “You have seen the impact he has had. Incredible – four clean sheets out of six. When the ball comes into the box he seems to be a magnet.
“It gives us great confidence knowing that if the opposition do get a cross in, he is going to be there to get it away.
“He is an incredible player and, if we survive, we should do all we can to keep him on for next season.”
Premier League Player of the Year nominees: Writers' choices Tue, April 11, 2017
Click to reveal our writers' top three picks for the Premier League Player of the Year award
Play slideshow AFP/Getty Images 1 of 9
Click to reveal our writers' top picks for the Premier League Player of the Year
Townsend believes that manager Sam Allardyce’s big secret to turning Palace’s season around is by getting back to basics.
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
Monday night was a far cry from early February, when Palace were thrashed 4-0 at home by Sunderland in Allardyce’s ninth game in charge, leaving them one place off the bottom of the table and looking in real trouble.
But since then, with Allardyce’s astute signings including Milivojevic, Sakho and Jeffrey Schlupp bolstering a reshaped side, Palace have gone from strength to strength.
Players like Townsend, who had been floundering, have also been revitalised and he said: “Sam has got us going back to the basics. Getting us defending as a team and then counter attacking and using our strengths going forward, and getting crosses into the box for Christian Benteke.
Mamadou Sakho has been a big hit at Crystal Palace since joining from Liverpool on loan
“We are doing that well at the moment and hopefully that can continue. He is giving us the confidence to go out there and do our thing.
“It is about doing our job, and if we do our job defensively we have the freedom to do what we do going forward.
“We would have taken a scruffy 1-0, but to win 3-0 and in the manner we did was great. We just have to follow it up on Saturday now (at home) against Leicester.”