Responding to reports linking Ismalia Sarr with a move to Liverpool
Photo by Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Responding to reports linking Ismalia Sarr with a move to Liverpool

It’s no secret that Liverpool are preparing for another quiet summer transfer window even with the club having recently secured their 19th league title.

Despite this, Liverpool themselves are consistently being linked with a number of players as the transfer rumour mill begins to take full speed.

According to The Daily Mail, Liverpool are reportedly ‘weighing’ up a potential move for Watford’s Ismaila Sarr which could be a cheaper option to aid the Reds’ attacking department next season.

Gary Neville recently labelled the 22-year-old as a ‘big, big talent’ and believes Sarr will be a player that is sought out by a number of clubs this summer.

Speaking on the Gary Neville Podcast, reported by The Mail: “He’s a big, big talent, honestly he really is. He’ll be sought after and Watford will, I’m sure, cash in if they get the right bid.

“I always think, particularly as a wide player, what would I have not wanted to have played against? The first thing is pace. And then you’ve got to think about, can he use his pace?

‘Well yes he can, because he makes really good quality runs: the spin in behind, straight, but also the run inside in between full-back and centre back – which I always think is the most difficult to mark.”

Watford bought Sarr for £30 million from Rennes last summer and he has had a number of encouraging performances during his debut campaign in the Premier League.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 14: Sadio Mane of Liverpool in action with Ismaila Sarr of Watford during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Watford FC at Anfield on December 14, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)

A viable option next season

Sarr is certainly a player capable of turning it on and producing some stunning displays. Let’s not forget how he ripped us apart during Liverpool’s 3-0 defeat at Watford in February.

He scored two goals and provided an assist in an inspired win as the Hornet’s became the first PL to get the better of Jurgen Klopp’s Reds for the first time in over a year.

The Senegalese ace also scored against Arsenal in the Europa League last season for Rennes, in a season in which he netted 13 times and provided 11 assists for the French club. This ability to step up in the big matches is a good sign and something that Klopp could hone if a move were to materialise.

Sarr recently named Liverpool’s and fellow countryman Sadio Mane as his footballing idol so the idea of two international teammates thriving off each other next season could be an exciting prospect.

“Sadio Mané is not only a Senegal teammate of mine but he is my inspiration and my idol,” he told Watford’s official website.

“I watch lots of videos of him to see how he does things like accelerating and dribbling, and for me he is the best player in the world. For sure, the best African player in Europe.

“When I first came to Watford he sent me some messages welcoming me to the Premier League and any piece of advice he gives me I listen to carefully. He has won the Champions League and I’m so pleased he will soon be winning the Premier League because he deserves this.”

Like Mane joining Southampton, Sarr’s move to the Premier League was seen as a stepping stone, and he has used this season to acclimatise well.

Sarr is destined for a bigger stage than Watford and Liverpool might do well to buy now rather than risk missing out.

Also, with Watford currently in the relegation zone heading into the final day, if the Hornets were to be relegated then it could mean Liverpool could command a much-cheaper price-tag for the player.

Similarly to Mane, Sarr is a Senegalese talent that was spotted by scout Mady Toure, who also discovered Mane. He revealed to The Guardian that Sarr reminds him of a certain player that has gone on to win five Ballon d’Or awards and the same number of Champions League successes.

Toure said: “What I can say is that Ismaïla is a little like Cristiano Ronaldo. And Ronaldo is his idol. They have quite a similar way of playing. I said Sadio would blow up in England and I can tell you that Ismaïla will do the same.

“He will even win a Ballon d’Or too. He is fast, powerful and now that he has his bearings … and it’s only his first season, you will see how he gets better and progresses. I think he is well set to become one of the best players in England and the world.”

Talk about a recommendation. That is some serious praise and is the sort of potential Liverpool have looked to harness in the past.

Klopp has made it well documented in the past that he turned down the option to sign Mane when he was at Dortmund but never made the same mistake again at Liverpool. The winger’s explosive play could make Liverpool an even bigger threat next season and more unpredictable going forward.

Also, Sarr has flourished on the left-side of an attacking trident meaning he could learn and develop his game as Mane’s understudy, who could be the perfect mentor for his international compatriot.

Put him in an attacking unit as devastating as Liverpool and he really could flourish.

WATFORD, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 29: Ismaila Sarr of Watford runs with the ball during the Premier League match between Watford FC and Liverpool FC at Vicarage Road on February 29, 2020 in Watford, United Kingdom. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Should Liverpool gamble?

If Watford are indeed relegated it could be a significant factor that Liverpool turn to their advantage.

The Reds have benefited from other team’s misfortune in the past having developed formerly relegated players such as Andy Robertson, Georginio Wijnaldum and Xherdan Shaqiri into European and Premier League champions in short time.

Although Watford paid £30 million for Sarr last summer and would want a profit, an imminent relegation could force the club’s hand in having to sell on the cheap which Liverpool could capitalise on.

Sarr may not be at the stage where he could hold down a weekly starting place at Liverpool but with Mane and Mohamed Salah both 28 and in the peak of their careers, it is certainly a position that soon needs to be addressed.

He is a player with strong potential, and with a potential relegation pending, Liverpool may never get a better opportunity to strike a better deal for the player.

Across the fanbase, it is certainly a transfer that has excited a selected number of Kopites.

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