Why Chelsea loaning out Malang Sarr would enhance his development
The 21-year-old had been a free agent in the market following the expiry of his contract with OGC Nice at the end of last season before he put pen to paper on a five-year deal with Frank Lampard’s side back in August. (GFFN h/t Football.London)
However, it is understood that the French U-21 international’s acquisition was one for the future and Saint-Etienne are prepared to offer Sarr a two-year loan deal. The Ligue 1 club are currently looking for reinforcements at the back after selling Wesley Fofana to Leicester City while William Saliba has also returned to Arsenal.
Malang Sarr rose through the youth ranks of Nice and initially caught the eye for the club’s reserve side before bursting on to the scene in Ligue 1 as an exciting teenager during the 2016-17 season.
The 21-year-old gradually carved out a reputation for himself as one of the best up and coming defensive talents in France under the stewardship of Patrick Vieira. Sarr made a total of 119 appearances for Nice over the course of four full seasons before departing on a free transfer to join Chelsea.
Sarr has represented France across various underage levels between U-16 and U-21, accumulating 42 caps in the process. However, he still remains eligible to represent Senegal at the senior international level, owing to his heritage.
Loan move – ideal for all parties?
Chelsea desperately needed to bring in some defensive reinforcements in the summer after conceding 54 goals in the Premier League last season and the Blues responded by adding the likes of Thiago Silva and Malang Sarr to their centre-back ranks.
Frank Lampard currently has a surplus of central defenders in his squad, with the arrival of Silva and Sarr making it six senior players competing for places at the heart of the defence. Andreas Christensen, Kurt Zouma, Silva, and Fikayo Tomori have all been rotated in that department so far while Antonio Rudiger is yet to make an appearance.
The uncertainty over Rudiger’s future has seen him linked with loan moves elsewhere, with Lampard clearly not fancying the German. Regardless of what the future holds for him, though, Chelsea would still have more than enough cover at the back.
To that end, it looks highly unlikely that Sarr would get a fair crack of the whip in the Premier League this season. Christensen, Zouma, Silva, and Tomori are all ahead of the Frenchman in the pecking order, meaning that the youngster is in danger of finding himself limited to a bit-part role.
Hence, a loan move away from Stamford Bridge should be a fair settlement for all parties involved. Sarr’s quality and talent can hardly be called into question. But at 21, he needs regular game time to work on his game and evolve into a finished article.
Chelsea should, therefore, loan him out to a club where he would play week in, week out. A temporary return to France with St. Etienne would certainly make a lot of sense.
The French outfit are looking for some fresh faces at the back while the presence of Claude Puel (who handed Sarr his senior breakthrough at Nice) at the helm of affairs should allow the Chelsea starlet to settle down quickly at his new club.
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Having spent heavily to bring in some top-quality players during the summer window, it’s time now for Chelsea to apply the finishing touches and trim down their squad. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Malang Sarr has been roped in with one eye on the future.
With that in mind, the Blues should try to arrange a loan deal for the young Frenchman to allow him to further his development with regular minutes elsewhere. He’s already made more than 100 appearances in his senior career and a productive spell away on loan may well put him in good stead for a place in Chelsea’s first-team next season.