Inconsequential though it ultimately was, Liverpool’s shock 3-0 defeat to Watford in February ended what was quickly blossoming into an unbeaten run that would break Arsenal’s existing 49-game record. After a goalless first half at Vicarage Road, Watford winger Ismaila Sarr was the instigator of destruction, scoring a quickfire brace to stun the champions-elect. Troy Deeney rounded off the scoring, but it was undoubtedly Sarr who ended the evening as a deserving man of the match:
The Senegalese winger’s performance on that occasion was very reminiscent of countryman Sadio Mane’s ability to counter and shoot with a killer touch, but unlike Mane, he did not show those skills with anywhere near the same regularity last term.
Naturally, there are mitigating circumstances, particularly the constant turnaround of Watford managers during the club’s top-flight stay. Additionally, no manager other than Nigel Pearson – the mastermind behind Liverpool’s destruction – was able to deploy him effectively, with Sarr playing further forward and given more fluidity under his command.
YouTube: ISMAÏLA SARR HIGHLIGHTS | WATFORD GOALS, SKILLS AND ASSISTS SO FAR!
Sarr’s greatest moments of 2019/20.
A case for costly acquisition?
The continued belief in Liverpool’s dominance is reflected in their continued standing as title favourites in various odds markets. Only Chelsea and Manchester City come close, and whilst many people may use a free bet on outside contenders such as Chelsea, given their heavy investment over the summer, it seems as though Liverpool still have the greatest ‘fear factor’ in the league.
It is impossible to improve on apparent perfection, and that fact alone makes such a huge move for Sarr questionable at best.
Sarr’s double against Liverpool represented his last goals of 2019/20, meaning that he finished on a modest tally of five goals. There is more to that than meets the eye, though, with the last four coming during multi-goal margin wins accompanied by a clean sheet. He also scored the opening goal on three occasions across those five strikes, which fits well the justified demand for immediate dominance and quickfire starts under the Klopp regime.
Worth the investment?
The fee demanded by Watford earlier in September, is undoubtedly excessive, especially with Liverpool in the process of improving upon perfection, with the marquee signing of Thiago Alcántara now very likely to be the highlight of a compressed summer window.
The situation is open to change, but with links between Mane and Barcelona now little more than embers, it is unlikely that Sarr will ever occupy a Liverpool shirt, even if he does force a reduction in the price tag. The only asset that could warrant a different opinion is his age, and at 22, he has plenty of opportunities to hone his craft in the Premier League.