When Manchester United take on Watford at the weekend, Hornets winger Ismaila Sarr could be more motivated than any player on the pitch.
United will have to be wary of this. Sarr played a part in Watford’s home win over the Red Devils last season, scoring one and also winning a penalty.
He is a player who was linked with a summer move to United, with The Express claiming Watford wanted £50 million for him.
This was cheap by comparison to the Jadon Sancho price tag, but too expensive for United.
Instead United chose to sign Facundo Pellistri and Amad Diallo, two future prospects for less than the cost it would have cost to land Sarr.
The links are not dead yet however. The Mail reported this week that Sarr is ‘still being looked at’ by United.
Sarr, 22, would be more ready to contribute now than either Pellistri and Diallo, and provide an alternative to Dan James on the wing.
Saturday’s upcoming FA Cup match is the perfect way for Sarr to put himself back in the shop window, not just for United, but for other interested Premier League sides too.
United left-back Alex Telles is likely to start and he will have to be ready for Sarr’s pace and unpredictability.
How has he been getting on in the Championship?
Sarr has been a regular for Watford amid their push for promotion which has left them in sixth place so far.
He has been playing in a couple of roles, featuring at right wing and also being utilised at times as a centre-forward.
Sarr has scored four goals so far this season and has five assists. But his inconsistent side has shown up lately.
In his last 10 games, Sarr has as many bookings (2) as goal contributions (1 goal, 1 assist), with the highlight being a Boxing Day winner over Championship league leaders Norwich.
Nine goal contributions in 17 games is not a bad output, but Sarr will need to show more consistency to really show he is worth the money Watford are seeking.
He is under contract at Vicarage Road until 2024, but is unlikely to want to spend another year in England’s second tier if Watford fail to win promotion.
Sarr was previously recommended for United by Gary Neville, who was quoted by The Mail describing him as a ‘big, big talent’ who causes problems for defenders.
For now he appears to be on the back burner for United, a player the club are aware of, but not a priority. He has the chance to change that this weekend.
Hopefully the defence Solskjaer sends out will prove more than up to the test this time, but if he does prove too hot to handle, United’s plans may begin to change.
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