For the last week or so, Watford have seemingly been the undisputed front-runners in the race for Rennes winger Ismaila Sarr but with Wilfried Zaha having handed in a transfer request at Crystal Palace, it seems the Eagles have thrown their hat into the ring.
Crystal Palace have joined Watford in the race for Rennes winger Ismaila Sarr. More follows tomorrow.
— Get French Football News (@GFFN) August 7, 2019
At 21, Sarr is about as close to a copy of Zaha as you’re likely to find, albeit significantly younger, available at a lower price and unlikely to demand anything like the same weekly wage packet. Until now, there’s been no realistic chance of Palace having the sort of cash necessary to facilitate a deal but with their star man kicking off just 24 hours before the window closes, it’s no wonder we’re testing the water with the Ligue 1 club.
The youngster may well have his heart set on Watford, god knows why but he might. If that isn’t the case, there’s no reason to suggest that Palace don’t have a live chance of landing him. Is he as good as Zaha? Of course not, he’s still learning his trade and hasn’t yet been afforded the opportunity to prove himself in a top league but for the Eagles, securing his services would be making the very best out of a truly terrible situation.
Known to love dribbling, Adam Leventhal’s excellent recent piece on him for The Athletic begins with a quote from Phillipe Gaillot, the Sporting Director at Metz:
“The first time I saw him run and he accelerated, I gasped. I thought: ‘What just happened?’”
It seems he’s exactly the sort of player to get fans off their seats, the type to set a little buzz of excitement off across the ground when he gets on the ball, rather like the man he may end up replacing in part. The ripple effect of Wilfried Zaha leaving Crystal Palace before 5pm today would be seismic but were the Eagles able to land Sarr from under Watford’s noses amongst the hysteria, it would certainly soften the blow significantly.