When Ismaila Sarr arrived at Vicarage Road back in the summer of 2019, you can bet good money that the Senegal winger didn’t expect to be turning out in the Championship over a year later.
The flying winger’s presence in the Hornets squad was not enough to keep the Hertfordshire outfit in the Premier League as they succumbed to relegation after a five season stay in the top tier following promotion back in 2015.
Naturally many believe that the club could once again get back to that level this term and many will have been encouraged by Vladimir Ivic’s start to life as the club’s new manager, however he was the next man to fall foul to the Pozzo family’s high expectations as he was given the boot earlier this month, with Xisco Munoz coming in as the club’s ninth manager in six turbulent years.
A change of manager may make a difference to proceedings on the field of play but holding on to your most valuable assets also helps and that is certainly the case for Watford and Sarr.
After dropping down to the second tier, the winger was inevitably linked with a quick exit from the club after racking up five goals and six assists last term, including a famous hattrick against the eventual champions Liverpool.
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However by some miracle the Hornets managed to hold onto one of their star men, with the wideman staying put, in a move that many wouldn’t have seen coming.
Unlike many a player that we have seen nowadays, Sarr hasn’t downed tools over failing to secure a move away from the club, he hasn’t hit out at being held back the hierarchy, he has simply got on with doing what he’s good at – playing football and affecting games for his team.
With three goals to his name already this term, Sarr has been a constant menace for Championship defences so far and has unsurprisingly been one of the division’s standout performers under the stewardship of Ivic.
The task for Munoz now is to hold onto his player for the rest of the campaign as the creativity and direct style of play that the attacker offers is particularly hard to come by for clubs at Premier League level never mind those in the second tier.
Sarr could hold the key to the club’s promotion ambitions and for that reason he must remain a Hornet for a little while longer.