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Monday, February 6, 2023

Leeds: Orta should make move for Sarr

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Leeds United will no doubt be using the current World Cup break to scout potential new recruits ahead of the January window, with the ongoing tournament in Qatar providing sporting director Victor Orta with the ideal chance to take a closer look at potential targets.

While that search may well see new names emerge on the Spaniard’s wishlist, it could also see long-term or previous targets come back into the picture, with Watford’s Ismaila Sarr one such talent who may well have caught the attention of the Elland Road transfer chief once again.

Reports during the summer window suggested that the 24-year-old was a target for the Yorkshire side to bolster their attacking options, with the Senegalese international having been tipped for a departure from his current side following the Hornets’ relegation at the end of last season.

Despite journalist Phil Hay suggesting rumours of a move were “wide of the mark“, reports in France claimed that the two parties were even close to reaching an agreement for the player’s signature, albeit with no such move coming to fruition.

It would seemingly be wise for Orta to revisit that interest in the New Year in order to prise the electric ace from Vicarage Road, with the highly-rated winger having shown his quality while on international duty over the past week or so, having netted six times and registered three assists for his club leading up to the World Cup.

The “freak” asset – as described by former teammate Ben Foster – has truly “stepped up” to the mark for his country in the absence of leading man Sadio Mane, in the words of journalist Maher Mezahi, with the 49-cap star having been integral to helping steer his side into the knockout stages.

The former Rennes man – who arrived in English football in a £40m deal back in 2019 – notably netted in the recent triumph over Ecuador to ensure that the Lions of Teranga finished second in the group, with the 6-foot-1 ace having been “ice-cool” from the penalty spot to initially fire his side ahead, as per CBS reporter Ben Jacobs.

After Brighton & Hove Albion’s Moises Caicedo had pulled the opposition level, a late strike from Chelsea‘s Kalidou Kouliably ultimately helped to secure victory for Sarr and co, with the latter man having been rewarded for his sparkling all-round performance.

Aside from his composed spot-kick, the Watford talisman was also tireless in his attacking berth, winning a remarkable haul of 11 ground duels and winning eight fouls to help alleviate some pressure for his side, while also proving a real menace in the final third after completing three of his four dribbles.

Can you get 100% on this Leeds World Cup transfer quiz?

Question 1. After starring for England at the 2002 World Cup, how much did Leeds sell Rio Ferdinand to Manchester United for?

The one-time Metz ace will no doubt be a figure who could well pose a real problem for upcoming opponents England in the last 16, with it set to be no surprise if Sarr does wreak havoc against the Three Lions at the weekend.

A player who appears to relish the big stage, such a leading figure could well make a notable difference to Jesse Marsch’s struggling Leeds outfit.

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