Watford will be hoping to make another step toward Premier League promotion when they take on Luton Town on Saturday.
The Hornets’ success this season has been thanks in no small part to forward Ismaila Sarr, who has been their most dangerous attacking weapon since their return to the Championship.
Watford held off interest from the Premier League to keep hold of the Senegal international and have been repaid significantly as the 23-year-old has scored 12 goals and added 10 assists this term.
They look set to face a similar battle to keep him this summer, whether or not they secure promotion, and we’ve highlighted the potential paths he can take…
The current Premier League champions have had a wobble this season but will be looking to bounce back strongly next term, which could make the summer an exciting time to make the switch to Anfield.
Liverpool were heavily linked with Sarr in previous windows and could reignite their interest in the summer – with The Athletic’s James Pearce suggesting he could be cheaper this summer than the £40 million previously quoted.
A move to join Jurgen Klopp’s squad would be very hard to turn down – even if the Hornets are back in the Premier League – but with Diogo Jota, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, and Mohammed Salah at the club, he may have to be patient when it comes to opportunities to impress.
There have been suggestions that the latter could leave this summer, which may leave space for Sarr.
Recent reports have indicated that Sarr is Palace’s top transfer priority ahead of the summer (The Sun on Sunday (11/04, page 67)).
Ebere Eze has proven a fantastic acquisition, so it would not be a huge surprise to see them move for EFL talent again in the upcoming window.
The future of Wilfried Zaha always seems unclear while Andros Townsend is not getting any younger, so Sarr could be a fantastic addition.
It could be the ideal time to join for the winger as a new era could be about to begin with Roy Hodgson’s current deal expiring at the end of the season and no new deal signed yet.
The move would represent joining a more established Premier League side but somewhere that he could quickly cement himself as a key player.
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Stay at Watford?
The Hornets are closing in on a return to the Premier League, which makes it more likely that Sarr could stay at Vicarage Road.
Firstly, it will leave Watford in a stronger negotiating position should clubs come in for him, while it also means that the 23-year-old doesn’t have to leave to play in the top flight.
He’s clearly enjoying his football with the Hornets – as his recent comments highlighted – so if Premier League promotion is confirmed he may well feel there’s no need to seek a move away.
It could all depend on how driven the clubs after him are and how much they’re willing to pay.