Liverpool have perfect middle man to help Jurgen Klopp broker Ismaila Sarr transfer

Liverpool could reportedly move for Watford star Ismaila Sarr, following their relegation to the Championship. Clubs who will be playing Premier League football next season are expected to raid the Hornets, Bournemouth and Norwich of their most prized assets as they eye cut-price deals.

Sarr is undoubtedly one of the best players to have faced the drop this season and he has been a shining light throughout Watford’s continuous troubles and instability.

Gary Neville described him as a “big talent” and he catapulted his name into stardom when he put Liverpool to the sword in February, scoring twice to inflict their first Premier Leagued defeat of the season.

That’s why it comes as no surprise to see Liverpool linked with a move for the 22-year-old, who was visibly upset after Watford’s relegation was confirmed following the 3-2 defeat at Arsenal.

He has all the qualities Jurgen Klopp looks for in a wide attacker and it’s a transfer strategy they have followed before when signing Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke), Andy Robertson (Hull) and Gini Wijnaldum (Newcastle) following relegation.

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Sarr has pace to burn and has terrorised full-backs including Andy Robertson this season. While he is far from the finished article, his raw attributes make him an attractive project for a coach like Klopp who relished player development.

Should the German wish to pursue a deal for the youngster, he has the perfect middle man to help him in the form of Sadio Mane.

That’s because Mane is like a big brother to Sarr as well as his role model. He has taken him under his wing for the national team while Sarr has also followed a similar path through the Generation Foot academy based in Dakar before joining Metz.

Mane told The Athletic in August that Premier League full-backs were not ready for Sarr’s acceleration and sprint speed and he was right.


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“The first day he signed I sent him a message to say good luck and that I was happy for him,” Mane said nearly a year ago.

“He’s rapid. I think defenders will struggle. Last time I was speaking to Robbo (Andy Robertson) I said ‘ Watford have a really good player. I will need to help you more otherwise Ismaila Sarr will kill you, because he is a good dribbler and very, very fast’.”

The admiration is mutual on Sarr’s behalf, the jet-heeled forward declared his love for Mane later in the season.

“Mane is not only a Senegal team-mate of mine but he is my inspiration and idol,” Sarr said.

“It will be perfect for me to play against him again. For me he is the best player in the world. For sure, the best African player in Europe.

“He’s our national team leader but he’s also a nice guy and I love him.”

When Sarr arrived in England, Mane felt great responsibility in ensuring he felt settled away from home. The pair would speak regularly and look forward to traveling back to Africa together during the international breaks.

When Sarr visited Anfield in December with Watford in a 2-0 defeat, Mane made a personal request to Troy Deeney to look after his compatriot after the match.


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Having handed the Watford captain his signed shirt, he said to Deeney: “You’re welcome, enjoy your Christmas bro!”

Deeney replied: “Thank you very much, look after yourself.”

Before Mane added: “Take care of my boy [Sarr], yeah? He’s a shy boy, shy boy.”

Deeney gave Mane his word: “He just needs to speak English, but he’s working on it. He’s a good boy, see you later!”

It is understood that there is no relegation clause in Sarr’s contract that would allow him to leave for cheap despite their relegation.

The Athletic claim that the Vicarage Road hierarchy would look for between £40million-£50m to let him leave, given they paid £30m last summer.

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