Crystal Palace’s alleged move for winger Ismaila Sarr has been distanced by Guardian journalist Ed Aarons.
The journalist says that despite Crystal Palace being interested in the winger, they are unlikely to make a move for him unless their main man Wilfried Zaha is forced to depart the club.
Re Ismaïla Sarr: understand Crystal Palace are interested but unlikely to make a move unless Zaha leaves. Senegal forward is also wanted by Watford
— Ed Aarons (@ed_aarons) July 28, 2019
Aarons also commented on how the winger is a target for fellow Premier League side Watford.
Attacker Wilfried Zaha has attracted much interest over the summer, however, he looks as likely to stay as he has throughout the whole window after Arsenal essentially dropped out of the race by agreeing a £72m (BBC) fee for fellow Ivorian winger Nicolas Pepe.
Everton have also registered an interest, and have allegedly made a £55m bid for the forward (Sky Sports), however, with Zaha wanting European football, it might be hard for Everton to lure him from Selhurst Park.
While Palace could do with reinforcements on the wing, they have bigger problems in other positions on the pitch.
Apart from Zaha and Townsend, Ayew and Schlupp are the only other players who can play on the wing, with neither being absolute naturals.
However, despite Palace’s need, the price tag of £30m is too excessive for a team that is desperate for reinforcements across the board. Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s sale has left a huge void at right-back and Batshuayi returning to Chelsea has meant Palace have lost their striker who scored the most goals for them last season.
Sarr also favours the left-wing, but can also play through the middle or on the right, very much like Wilfried Zaha. The comparisons don’t stop there, either. Zaha got 15 goal contributions last term (10 goals, five assists) while Sarr got 14 (eight goals, six assists). Both have averaged a large number of dribbles per game with Zaha having 3.4 to Sarr’s 1.8, they both average a lot of shots each with 2.1 per game compared to 1.5 and both win a lot of fouls, with Zaha averaging 3-a-game to Sarr’s 2.8 (WhoScored).
Zaha’s stats pip Sarr’s, but the latter is five years younger than the former. Considering this, you can see why the two have been linked, and you can imagine Sarr doing a good job for Palace, however, it would be difficult for Hodgson to jam both of them in the side.
Sarr would be a good signing for Palace, but only if Zaha gets sold – which is looking less likely the closer we get to the transfer window.
With the £30m Palace could spend on Sarr, they would be better off going elsewhere for their next winger and reinvest the money into more important parts of the squad.
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