TalkSport journalist Alex Crook thinks that Watford could be in danger of losing Ismaïla Sarr in the upcoming January transfer window.
The Senegalese forward has certainly become a pretty prominent figure around Vicarage Road since his move from French side Rennes in the summer of 2019 for a club-record fee of £40m. He has scored 23 goals and chipped in with 16 assists during his time, which includes their promotion campaign last season, where he was their top scorer in all competitions with 13.
However, with performances like that, there were always going to be a number of clubs that would take an interest in him, with Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool two clubs that showed an interest in him during the summer.
And speaking on the TalkSport Gameday podcast, Crook felt that Newcastle United, with their newly inherited wealth, could be a club that will come calling for his services – and that was likely that he could be on the move:
“I actually think they might struggle to keep Sarr now in the January transfer window. If we’re talking about possible signings that Newcastle could make at this stage and they’re not going to get the true world stars all the time they’re in a relegation battle, I think Sarr could be a sensible acquisition and one that would be possibly easy to prise away from Vicarage Road.”
TIF Thoughts on Alex Crook’s comments about Watford and Ismaïla Sarr…
Will Watford keep hold of Sarr in January?
Crook is right to some extent, in that Newcastle might find it hard to attract world-class players whilst they’re in the relegation zone, so they may have to set their sights a little bit lower in January, and someone like 23-year-old Sarr, who has made a good start to this season with four goals so far, could well be someone they could target.
But whilst Watford have previously said that Sarr isn’t for sale, if Newcastle do come calling, then Watford could use the recent takeover to their advantage.
They can put an incredibly high value on his head, knowing that Newcastle will be able to afford whatever they charge and call their bluff, either by forcing them to pay a high fee that they’ll be able to reinvest themselves, or by scaring them off and keeping someone who could prove important to them this season.
So in a sense, it’s a win-win for Watford, and it will be interesting to see if Crook’s prediction does indeed come true, and what the Hornets will do if that scenario presents itself.