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Aston Villa linked with 22-year-old Championship star – A move they should rather avoid?

Ismaila Sarr (Getty Images)
Ismaila Sarr (Getty Images)

Why Aston Villa need not push too hard to Ismaila Sarr

According to claims from France Football (h/t Birmingham Live), Aston Villa are planning to hijack Liverpool’s move for Watford winger Ismaila Sarr by offering the Senegalese star assurances over his playtime.

As per the report, the Reds have agreed a fee between €35-40million with Watford to sign the 22-year-old, who is currently in negotiations with the reigning champions over personal terms. 

Sarr has been linked with a host of top-flight clubs, including heavyweights Manchester United and Liverpool, throughout the summer but Villa have now joined the race to sign the highly-rated winger. (France Football h/t Birmingham Live)

Profile

Ismaila Sarr completed his footballing education with Generation Foot in Senegal before earning a professional contract with French top-flight outfit Metz in 2016. The talented winger bagged an impressive tally of 5 goals and 5 assists in his first senior campaign and that paved the way for a move to Stade Rennes in 2017.

Report: Ismaila Sarr Offered To Manchester United - Thewistle
Ismaila Sarr made 77 appearances for Rennes earlier in his career (Getty Images)

The 22-year-old went on to establish himself as one of the best young talents coming out of Ligue 1 during his two-year spell at Roazhon Park, while also catching the eye of several top clubs across the continent with his performances in the Europa League. 

The Senegalese international accumulated 18 goals and 16 assists in 77 appearances for Rennes in all competitions before completing a move to the Premier League with Watford last summer. Sarr went on to enjoy a promising debut season at the English capital, registering 6 goals and 6 assists in all competitions. But he wasn’t able to save his club from relegation.

Villa already have enough cover down the flanks

Make no mistake, Ismaila Sarr is an exciting young winger with loads of untapped potential, thus making him worth a punt for any top club in the Premier League. Going by what we have seen of him so far, a significant outlay for the Senegalese would definitely be worth it.

Watford boss Pearson provides Sarr injury update ahead of Everton clash | Goal.com
Sarr bagged 6 goals and 6 assists in his debut season at Watford last term (Getty Images)

However, it wouldn’t really make a lot of sense for Villa to fork out the money to sign another out-and-out winger like Sarr after spending heavily on the likes of Bertrand Traore and Ollie Watkins to bolster their attack this summer. 

As things stand, Dean Smith already has the likes of Anwar El Ghazi, Jota, Traore and Trezeguet competing for places on the right flank, with Jack Grealish very much an undisputed starter on the left. Sarr, too, predominantly operates down the right, so Villa would need to sell before bringing in a new player in that position.

Watkins has arrived at Villa Park as a centre-forward but it’s worth mentioning that he was a specialist wide player before being transformed into a central role by Brentford boss Thomas Frank last season. It will be interesting to see how Smith adjusts his dynamics after Wesley Moraes returns to full fitness later in the year. 

Ismaila Sarr admits "everyone would love to play for Liverpool" amid transfer interest - Liverpool FC - This Is Anfield
Aston Villa have joined the race to sign Ismaila Sarr (Getty Images)

Moreover, Sarr only managed 5 goals and 4 assists in the Premier League last term despite all his promise and potential. Those returns aren’t really a lot better as compared to the likes of Trezeguet (6 goals, 1 assist) and El Ghazi (4 goals, 4 assists).

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Verdict

Aston Villa have made some really smart signings this summer to plug some gaping holes in their squad after narrowly beating the drop in the previous campaign. It remains to be seen whether Smith opts to make further additions to his squad before the deadline next month, but Ismaila Sarr shouldn’t be a top priority for the manager as he already has enough cover in that department.

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