Sadio Mane Told Liverpool's Andy Robertson Ismaila Sarr Will 'Kill' Him for Pace

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistAugust 23, 2019

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 14:  Sadio Mane of Liverpool celebrates with team mate Andy Robertson after scoring the third Liverpool goal during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield on January 14, 2018 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has warned team-mate Andy Robertson he will need help defending Senegal compatriot Ismaila Sarr, who would "kill" him for speed if given the space.

Sarr, 21, joined Watford from Rennes for a club-record fee of £30 million on the Premier League's transfer deadline day.

The youngster has already been capped 21 times for Senegal, and Mane told The Athletic's Adam Leventhal he'll need to offer Robertson additional cover when going up against his compatriot:

"The first day [Sarr] signed I sent him a message to say good luck and that I was happy for him.

"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'.

"I'm really happy for him, and he made the right choice to come to Watford. For sure, I think he will be great."

The Reds won't face Watford until December 14, when they teams are set to meet at Anfield. Mane and Robertson will hope Premier League newcomer Sarr hasn't built up enough confidence by then to get the better of them down Liverpool's left side.

Javi Gracia's record purchase arrives from France with a reputation for the magnificent, and he came through the same Generation Foot academy that produced Mane, per Leventhal:

The Athletic UK @TheAthleticUK

One for #WatfordFC fans: a background piece on Ismaila Sarr by @AdamLeventhal ➡️https://t.co/59eOGswdjT https://t.co/CL3Wio1niJ

Sarr can play across the front three but is a naturally right-sided winger, the position he looks most likely to take up for Watford.

BT Sport showed the fleet-footed forward can also dazzle when cutting on to his favoured right foot from the opposite flank (UK only):

Football on BT Sport @btsportfootball

Watford have confirmed the signing of Ismaila Sarr from Rennes on a five-year deal... The Senegal international has a knack for scoring absolute screamers 🔥 https://t.co/IQjPsM23HL

The player has yet to make his Hornets debut after an extended break following his involvement at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations—he played the full 90 minutes as Senegal lost 1-0 to Algeria in the final.

Watford are at home to West Ham United on Saturday. Injury analyst Ben Dinnery provided a team update from manager Gracia on Thursday, suggesting Sarr could make his bow following injuries in attack:

Ben Dinnery @BenDinnery

Gracia could involve Welbeck and Sarr on Saturday after Deeney was ruled out for "several weeks" following minor knee surgery. “They are training well,” the Head Coach said. “Both are not in the best condition but most important in this moment is that they can help us" #watfordfc

Mane would be expected to compliment a young compatriot coming to England for the first time, but this kind of praise for Sarr seems genuine considering his potential has been clear for some time.

Robertson has played a surprisingly big role in Liverpool's rise under Jurgen Klopp, but Mane has warned one of Europe's most talented left-backs that even he could encounter trouble from Sarr.