Watford forward Ismaila Sarr should be cheaper alternative to Sancho – Gary Neville

Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville has suggested that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer look into signing Watford forward Ismaila Sarr amid reports that United’s move for Jadon Sancho is no further forward. The club legend has stated that the 22-year-old is a ‘big, big talent’. Borussia Dortmund want more that £100 million for Sancho with United only willing to spend £50 million, which is not going to be enough to land the England winger. United should look into other options.

Whilst Solskjaer seems set on signing Sancho, it is not likely to be an easy transfer, despite recent reports suggesting otherwise. Sarr is an alternative with Premier League experience and despite not being a big name like Sancho, he should be considered as Neville is not looking to send United in a direction whereby they will be making a huge error. Speaking to Sky Sports on the The Gary Neville Podcast, The Mirror reported Neville as saying:

“Manchester United need a right winger. He’s a big, big talent, honestly he really is.

“We’ve seen his performances before but tonight he was a shining light, even in that first half there were periods where Watford did attack and it was through him.

“So yeah he’ll be sought after and Watford will, I’m sure, cash in if they get the right bid.”

During the 2019/20 season, Sarr, 22, has made 28 appearances for the club this season, playing in the Premier League and the Carabao Cup, scoring six goals and five assists. It may not be good enough for a team such as United, but if you look at Daniel James’ rise from Swansea City this season, looking at what he has done at United, going from five goals and ten assists in 38 appearances for Swansea – in the Championship, to scoring four goals and seven assists in 43 appearances for United.

That said, with quality around him, and that is not a criticism of Watford, Sarr could become a much better player than he currently is, therefore Neville has a point to be made here. Just because a player costs £100 million or more does not guarantee that it will work for him. Look at Angel Di Maria, who cost just under £60 million. He stayed at United for one season and did not really fit. Granted, it might have been different under Solskjaer, but he was not at the club then so there is nothing to say otherwise.

It was last summer when the Senegal forward signed for Watford, for a record fee said to be more than £25 million from Rennes, as reported by BBC Sport at the time. The player, then 21, signed a five-year contract at the club, which is set to expire in the summer of 2024. That gives Watford all the cards as to whether they sell the player this summer or not. Considering at this moment in time that their future in the Premier League is not certain, sitting 17th in the Premier League, just three points from the relegation positions.

If Bournemouth beat Southampton on Sunday, Watford would need to beat both Manchester City and Arsenal to stay in the English top-flight. If they are relegated, Sarr might want to leave the club. All we can do is wait and see what happens. Obviously, if Bournemouth fail to beat Southampton, it will give Watford some breathing space but will need points on the board against both City and Arsenal, which is going to be a big ask at this stage of the season.

Written by John Walker

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I support Manchester United, the greatest English football team to have ever existed. Bruno Fernandes is the latest in a long line of players with great ability to play for the club. I idolised Bryan Robson, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, and Eric Cantona growing up.