Ismaila Sarr was definitely a huge hit since his great performance against the best team in the Premier League, Liverpool.
Some people doubted that Watford could even score a goal against Liverpool back then. It would go down as one of the best games of the season. It was a historical game, Liverpool’s loss was their first for the season, and it snapped a 44-match unbeaten run along with an 18-game winning streak.
Sarr turned 22 two weeks prior to his impressive game. He might have had the best gift in his career. Beating the best team in the world means a lot for a young man’s career. It was fun while the day lasted.
Michael Owen thought it was a statement game. Sarr came off a loss against Manchester United as he returned from his injury, but he did not show any signs of slowing down. He claimed a brace as soon as he could after the first half ended in a scoreless affair.
‘It’s a coming-of-age performance’, said Owen, the former Liverpool striker and Ballon d’Or winner. ‘He’s come for big money, he’s been well-touted and this was a big night for him. on the biggest stage against the champions-elect. He showed all the attributes (with that second goal). He’s got the pace, he’s got the composure to finish it. Not many people do that to Virgil van Dijk, run away from him. The finish was brilliant’.
Teammate and Hornets keeper Ben Foster also was impressed with Sarr’s game. He praised the superiority and confidence of the young player to play against one of the best keepers in the game, Alisson Becker.
‘We’ve missed him’, Foster said in an interview. ‘His work rate is phenomenal – he never gives up. He’s up the line, he’s down the line back defending. He’s playing against one of the best defenders in the world and he just showed great calmness to put that second (goal) one away’.
‘He never gets too excited, he always stays on the same plane’, added the goalkeeper. ‘If you give him space and put the ball behind the left-back, they are struggling. He’s so willing to do the work, so the other parts of his game are just bonus parts’.
Graham Stack, Watford’s goalkeeping coach, was stunned by the 22-year-old’s absolutely perfect game. The Senegal international has been impressive all season long since boss Nigel Pearson took over.
‘He’s just so calm and calculated in front of goal’, said Stack. ‘He took his time for the second goal, picked his spot and put it away beautifully. He doesn’t really change much: he doesn’t get too high or too low. For a player of his age to play on a platform like this, the way he does is a real credit to him’.
Owen Hargreaves also claimed that Sarr is the perfect player for the Hornets. Hargreaves played with a lot of great players in his stint with Bayern Munich, Manchester United and Manchester City.
‘The pace and athleticism, with that end product, is what every team needs’, said the former England midfielder. ‘That was against the best team in Europe and he tore them to shreds’.
Sarr explained that he enjoyed his time with the Hornets. He is looking forward to extending his contract while helping the Hornets finish their season in the Premier League.
‘Everything is good, I am settling in well at Watford’, said Sarr. ‘It was hard at the beginning with the language barrier as I couldn’t speak English, but I am learning well, I have a teacher come to my house and she helps me a lot. My family and my friends expect me to improve, and for me to do the best I can’.
Sarr might be the future of the Hornets, and it is very easy to see why he deserves his spot with the team.