Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal are among a host of clubs that are pursuing 2018 FIFA World Cup sensation and Rennes youngster Ismaila Sarr.
With the World Cup spectacle now over, the players that have shined in Russia are now under the scanner of the top teams. According to The Sun, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool are all interested in the Rennes winger, with Manchester City, a few German clubs and an unnamed Italian club also keeping track of the 20-year-old.
Ismaila Sarr first grabbed headlines when he rejected Barcelona to join Rennes in the summer of 2017. His first season at Rennes was below average for a talent of his standards, with the youngster boasting a return of 5 goals and 5 assists in the 2017-18 league campaign.
Sarr was one of the players to play each and every minute of Senegal’s World Cup campaign in Russia. While the player did not manage any direct contribution as Senegal bowed out in the group stage, his explosive pace and ability to trouble the opposition defence came to the fore. His change of pace, in particular is extraordinary.
His performance against Poland saw BBC pundit and footballing legend Gary Lineker label him as a star of the future. The 20-year-old is rightly drawing interest from the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool among others.
Manchester United need a winger for the right flank. Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Alexis Sanchez have all been unable to perform on the right, making the roster left-heavy. Sarr may be a left winger, but he has done it in Ligue 1 on the right as well, making him a prospect to fill up the right wing.
One nagging concern could be the fact that Sarr will be a gamble, with the player likely to make the attack further left-heavy if he fails to perform on the right.
Chelsea, on the other hand, want a winger irrespective of the outcome of the touted departures of Willian and Eden Hazard. Maurizio Sarri is likely to opt for a 4-3-3, making it necessary for Chelsea to recruit at least one winger to add depth to their attack and also prepare for the exit of Willian or Hazard or both.
Arsenal have done great business so far to build a good squad for new manager Unai Emery. But, they still lack proper and natural options on the wing. Ismaila Sarr would be a great fit, with his explosiveness in what is otherwise a very calm and calculated attacking squad at the club.
Barcelona, Juventus and a number of Premier League clubs are interested in signing Rennes’ 20-year-old winger Ismaila Sarr. (Source: Sun) pic.twitter.com/EtBI0lxVkw
— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) July 24, 2018
Sarr’s agent Thierno Seydi confirmed the interest of several clubs in his client’s signature while likening the player to Barcelona star Ousmane Dembele. Seydi pointed out that he is likely to cost in the echelon of £50 million while also pressing the fact that Sarr will not move to a new club if not guaranteed regular game time.
Seydi said, “We are talking about a great football player, who will play at the highest levels for the next ten years. I am open to discussions with all top European club. The important thing is that he goes in a team that makes him play. He cannot stay on the bench.”
It will be interesting to see where Sarr ends up this summer. He has already established his own profile by rejecting Barcelona to sign for Rennes, showing that he intends to favour playing time over club stature and money. Wherever he ends up though, Ismaila Sarr is a name we believe we are going to be seeing make headlines in the coming years.