Crystal Palace are targeting Rennes winger Ismaila Sarr, according to reports from The Sun.
The Sun reports that Palace’s sporting director Dougie Freedman spotted the winger playing for Senegal in the World Cup last year and has been tracking him ever since.
The 21-year-old is reportedly available for around £30million but is also a key target for Watford, who have been linked with the player all summer (Watford Observer).
Freedman has allegedly been in touch with former Rennes manager and current Nottingham Forest manager Sabri Lamouchi for a personal opinion on the winger.
Ismaila Sarr would be a good fit for Crystal Palace, but whether the £30m outlay would be worth it depends on the future of Wilfried Zaha.
The Senegalese winger played 35 times in Ligue 1 this season, scoring eight goals and creating six assists, playing the majority of his football on the right-wing, but also playing through the middle and on the left, as per WhoScored.
In terms of style, Sarr might be a natural Zaha replacement. He is only 21, has the ability to play on all flanks, and boasts a decent dribbling ability, as proved by 1.8 dribbles per game, a figure only bettered by the Ivorian himself at Selhurst Park last season.
However, with Arsenal closing in on a £72m deal for Nicolas Pepe (The Telegraph), Zaha’s chances of leaving the club may be limited – so if they keep hold of Zaha (as Steve Parish said was the aim), is there room for Sarr?
Palace have already brought in a reported £50million through the sale of Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Manchester United (The Telegraph) and have only had a small outlay for Jordan Ayew and Stephen Henderson. With Sarr mainly playing on the right, he will be contending with Andros Townsend for that space, who impressed with Palace last year, scoring six times and assisting four.
Per the Guardian, the club only really have the money received from the sale of Wan-Bissaka to spend, and therefore might need to be pragmatic with their signings and need to make sure they have what they need. With that in mind, they are desperately short of a right-back, with only Joel Ward and Martin Kelly being able to play there, and only have Christian Benteke, Alexander Sorloth and Ayew in attack, who scored just two league goals between them in the Premier League last year.
Alarmingly, Ward and Kelly failed to register an assist last season and more depth is required up top when you consider how little the strikers scored last season.
At a reported £30m, they would be spending a lot of money on a player who might not necessarily fit into the squad with Zaha and Townsend. Indeed, The club needs to focus on reinvesting into the right-back and striker positions, where they are desperately short of Premier League quality.
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