Liverpool squad were warned about Ismaila Sarr by Sadio Mane but ace didn’t fulfil promise
Liverpool star Sadio Mane warned his fellow team-mates about Ismaila Sarr at the start of the season, but the Reds clearly failed to acknowledge his advice as the jet-heeled winger scored twice in Watford’s 3-0 win over the Premier League leaders. It was Jurgen Klopp’s side’s first league defeat since January 2019 as their hopes of becoming Invincibles went up in smoke.
Sarr’s pace and willingness to run in behind proved to be a real thorn in the Liverpool defence which leaked three goals for the first time this season.
Mane is like a big brother to Sarr, and has helped him develop from a boy into a man with the Senegal national team.
For that reason, he is more than aware of the quality Sarr possesses and put his thoughts on record at the start of the season to those who did not know of the 22-year-old.
“The first day he signed I sent him a message to say good luck and that I was happy for him,” Mane told The Athletic in August after Sarr completed his switch to Vicarage Road.
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“He’s rapid. I think defenders will struggle.
“Last time I was speaking to Robbo (Andy Robertson) I said ‘ Watford have a really good player.
“I will need to help you more otherwise Ismaila Sarr will kill you, because he is a good dribbler and very, very fast’.”
It’s a promise that Mane failed to fulfil in Hertfordshire, leaving Robertson isolated against Sarr as Liverpool went in search of a winner and equaliser.
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The 27-year-old endured a quiet evening by his standards, with Liverpool failing to score in the Premier League for the first time this season.
After the 2-0 win over the Hornets in December, Mane asked Watford captain Troy Deeney to look after Sarr.
Now the youngster looks at home in the Premier League, scoring two goals that will be remembered for a long time particularly by Arsenal supporters.
Pundit Owen Hargreaves believes if Sarr continues to turn in performances of that quality, he could earn a move to a top six club, just like Mane did at Southampton.
“Sarr was outstanding,” Hargreaves told Premier League Productions.
“We know he’s quick and we know he’s got a big physical presence. But today in terms of end product he was outstanding.
“If he has a few more days like that, then the same way Mane left Southampton to go to Liverpool, if he plays like that against more teams then he could easily leave Watford.
“That pace and that athleticism, with the end product, that’s what every team he needs.
“You look at what [Nicolas] Pepe cost, what was it £70m going to Arsenal? That was a day against the best team in Europe and he tore them to shreds and people will take notice of that.”
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