Liverpool transfer after Divock Origi exit may be a household name, but on one condition
Ismaïla Sarr is a player that has been of interest to Liverpool for some time. The Watford winger had been repeatedly linked with a move to Anfield last summer but nothing ever materialised, and when the Reds signed Diogo Jota in 2020 he was on their shortlist.
Since then, ties with Sarr have cooled. Liverpool have been linked more with the moves of Leeds winger Raphinha and West Ham’s Jarrod Bowen rather than the Senegal international.
But the links have again returned to the center of attention.
According to an Italian report, Liverpool have resumed their interest in Sarr, with the club seeing him as a replacement for Divock Origi, who is set to join AC Milan.
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Besides, the report also highlights that Milan have also shown their interest in Sarr and could challenge the Reds for the 24-year-old.
Sarr’s contract at Watford expires in the summer of 2024, which would give the Hornets the edge in transfer negotiations, but the player’s desire to join Liverpool could play into the hands of the club.
According to Transfermarkt, Sarr is valued at £24m. Liverpool could undoubtedly afford that sum, but whether they want to buy Sarr at this stage is up for debate.
Bringing in the player as a replacement for Origi makes little sense given that the two don’t play in the same position. Moreover, Origi is a peripheral figure at the club, would Liverpool be willing to pay around £30m for a player who doesn’t play regularly? Very doubtful.
Sarr would be useful as a replacement for Mohamed Salah on the right side. Having cover for the Egyptian has been a problem for Jürgen Klopp over the years, even though Salah is very rarely injured. But when he misses games, Klopp tends to move one of his other strikers into the role, and we even saw Klopp use Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the right in January when Salah was out at AFCON.
Sarr’s output this season has been decent: five goals and one assist in 16 Premier League games in a side that have struggled all season to keep their heads above water. He also suffered a ligament injury which sidelined him for almost two months.
Sadio Mané has praised Sarr in the past, saying: “He’s quick. I think defenders will struggle. Last time I spoke to Robbo (Andy Robertson) I said ‘ Watford have a very good player. I will have to help you more otherwise Ismaïla Sarr will kill you, because he is a good dribbler and very, very fast.”
It’s highly likely that signing Luis Díaz will be Liverpool’s last striker for the foreseeable future, until the club come to terms with the fates of Salah, Mané and Roberto Firmino. There is too much uncertainty surrounding their future given their current contract situation, so it will likely be a matter of selling before buying.
But Sarr is unlikely to be high on the Reds’ target list unless one of that trio leaves, rather than being an effective successor to Origi.