Ismaila Sarr to Liverpool Links Don't Make Sense for the Player or Club

Ismaila Sarr
Sarr isn't what Liverpool need | Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Despite Liverpool's obvious success over the past two seasons, Jurgen Klopp could do with extra attacking reinforcements to provide cover for the first-choice front three.

However, it has been made perfectly clear that the Reds will not be spending big this summer - a decision which has angered some fans. But the reality of it is, the Premier League champions are in a position of dominance and do not need to needlessly splash the cash in the transfer market at this current moment in time.

One player who was seemingly destined to make the switch to Anfield this summer was Timo Werner, who had flirted with the club repeatedly during interviews. The German had a 'reasonable' release clause of £50m, but the Liverpool board ultimately decided that it would have been irresponsible to sanction the move during the current climate.

This left the door wide open for Chelsea to steal in and secure his signature. It appeared as though the German ticked just about every box for the Reds and would have been an excellent addition in attack, but it wasn't to be - much to the annoyance of many fans (on social media at least).

The club then also decided against a move for Norwich's Jamal Lewis after being told to pay £20m, and instead brought in Kostas Tsimikas from Olympiacos at almost half the price.

Considering Liverpool pulled out of a move for Werner - a player they were seemingly very keen on - and baulked at £20m for Lewis, new links to Watford's Ismaila Sarr are somewhat peculiar. The Premier League giants are said to be the 'frontrunners' to sign the 22-year-old. This would see him link up with fellow countryman and close friend Sadio Mane at Anfield.

However, despite the Hornets' relegation from the Premier League, they are standing firm in their valuation of the player and are looking for more than £40m for his services. Immediately, this is problematic as it would be hard to envisage a scenario where the Reds would part ways with such a sum for a player who still needs time to develop and grow - especially when considering their decision not to fork out a similar sum for the ideal addition in Werner.

The report suggests Liverpool could fund a move by offloading a number of players, including Harry Wilson and Xherdan Shaqiri. But the reality is, this wouldn't change the club's stance on spending this summer.

There's no denying the lack of depth in attack for Klopp, but while Werner met all the necessary criteria at Liverpool, Sarr does not. The former Rennes winger would bring quality to the attack, but he is not the finished article yet. In addition, while he has played as a centre-forward before, he is most effective when operating as a right winger. He doesn't bring the versatility that Klopp is said to be looking for.

Sarr is most dangerous when playing on the right
Sarr is most dangerous when playing on the right | Pool/Getty Images

Furthermore, Klopp is on the lookout for reinforcements who can come into the team and replace the likes of Mohamed Salah and Mane when they take part in the Africa Cup of Nations. However, the Senegal international would likely be involved in this tournament as well, which doesn't solve any problems for the boss.

Of course, this is through no fault of his own, but if the Reds are going to spend such money, it would be most logical to bring in a player who meets all the requirements.

As for Sarr himself, on the surface, it appears to be a no-brainer. He would be playing for one of the best teams in world football under a manager who would only help him improve, while he would also be training and working closely with his 'hero' Mane.

But at 22, the Watford man is in need of regular game time in order to continue improving and raise his game to the next level. At Liverpool, however, would he be granted this opportunity?

Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino
Liverpool's squad players see limited game time due to the form of the front three | Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

No, not really.

The Reds' front three is indeed one of the very best in world football and the chances of any player replacing one of them in the starting lineup are...well, very slim. This has meant squad players such as Shaqiri, Divock Origi and Takumi Minamino have struggled to make much of an impression in 2019/20.

In fact, Origi started just 14 games in all competitions in 2019/20 and Shaqiri managed just three starts. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, meanwhile, started just eight games while operating further up the field as a winger. January arrival Minamino has also managed just the five starts in all competitions since his arrival. It's worth noting that part of the reason why Minamino has struggled to settle at Anfield so far has been due to the lack of real opportunities he has had to adjust to his new side's style of play.

Takumi Minamino
Minamino has struggled to settle at Liverpool so far | Pool/Getty Images

Sure, Liverpool would be an appealing move for Sarr, after all they are one of the best teams around and are challenging for trophies. But it isn't what he needs at this stage in his career. He needed time to settle after making the step up to Watford last summer and it could prove detrimental if he were to take another massive leap just the following summer.

There's no denying his talent, but he doesn't fit the profile of the player the Reds are looking for right now. Should the Hornets ultimately decide to allow Sarr to depart in a cut-price deal for around £20m, then this is a move that would make more sense. But for upwards of £40m, Liverpool shouldn't be considering a move - at least not for the time being, anyway.

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