Watford have still not improved an original offer they made for Rennes winger Ismaila Sarr, according to the club’s president.
The winger, 21, has been playing in the Senegal side which recently lost in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations. He played five games over the tournament, scoring one goal versus Kenya in the group stages.
He has played 35 games in Ligue 1 this season, starting 32 of them. In which, he has scored eight goals and chipped in with six assists, mainly playing from the right-wing, but has also played down the centre and on the left (WhoScored).
He has been chased by Watford for much of the summer, with the Evening Standard reporting that they are now ready to take their negotiations up a notch. Within the report, they say that Rennes are demanding a fee in the region of £25-30million.
However, Olivier Létang, Rennes’ club president, has taken the transfer rumours into his own hands by explaining exactly where the clubs stand with their star winger.
He said, relayed by Foot Mercato: “We haven’t had an offer since last time. The English club hasn’t come back to us. I won’t give you a number.
“Right now, we’re happy if he stays an extra year. The English market closes in 17 days. The chances of him staying with us are really strong.
“Yes, it’s Watford (who placed a bid). Other clubs enquired, but without making a firm offer. Today, we’re trying to do what’s best for the club. We spoke about it with the manager. If Ismaila stays an extra year with us, we’d be happy. If a club comes in and makes an offer, we’ll talk about it”.
Watford last season played a 4-4-2 with essentially no conventional wingers. For example, Gerard Deulofeu would tend to play up front, while attacking midfielders would take up the wide roles, such as Roberto Pereyra and Will Hughes. Their attacking full-backs in Jose Holebas or Adam Masina and Daryl Janmaat or Kiko Femina provide the width which allows their wide players – Pereyra and Hughes – to come inside more naturally.
Watford started last season very well and were as high as seventh after matchday 27. Still, it could be argued that towards the end of the season their set up became predictable, as they used the 4-4-2 – or a variation of the 4-4-2 – in all but three games in the league last year as their form somewhat dipped (TransferMarkt).
The addition of Sarr would give Watford more options in their attacking line-up. As such an attacking threat from the wing, he could play on the opposite flank to Deulofeu and potentially cause big problems. Indeed, Sarr’s attacking stats suggest he could bring something new to Watford. He averages more dribbles with 1.8 than the rest of the Watford squad, gets fouled an average of 2.8 times per game and also averages 1.1 key passes per game.
To put that into context, only 2 players in the Hornets’ squad averaged more key passes while no one was fouled more.
Going off his stats, there’s little doubt that Sarr would add something to this Watford squad which they don’t really have.
With Sarr, the Hornets have the option of playing a bit differently, and he will add more pace to the team. Currently, Watford look dangerous with just Deulofeu in the side; adding Sarr to that could make them a better and more exciting team.
Just how big a signing would Sarr be? Join the discussion by commenting below…
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