Naby Sarr joins French invasion
January Guy Luzon loan target Naby Sarr has signed a 5-year deal today and I would think will accompany Patrick Bauer in a very unexperienced looking central defence when the season kicks off in 11 days. Sarr is widely expected to cost £1.4m.
Sarr is another French speaker in the dressing room, six if you include Loic Nego. Born in Marseille, the 21 year-old came through the PSG youth system but moved at 15 to join the famed Lyon academy. After 5 impressive appearances for Lyon, Sporting Lisbon swooped into sign Sarr for €1m, with another €1m to be paid further down the line depending on appearances. Then there was a silly €45m buy-out clause, which obviously never materialized. If it did then Roly has clearly had an lobotomy!
But, it clearly showed what Sporting thought of the young defender who has a number of France U20 caps and was an ever present in France’s run to winning the FIFA U20 World Cup in 2013. That French team also included the likes of Pogba, Zouma, Sanogo and Digne.
Sarr obviously has a good pedigree, but after starting the season as first choice in Lisbon, and playing in their early Champions League matches in the group stage that included Chelsea and Schalke, for whom Sarr scored against, he lost his placed to the Portuguse international Paulo Oliveira.
Like others before him Sarr came across as very happy to have landed at The Valley and I welcome him to the fold.
I am pleased with the quality on paper of the players that have been signed by the club this summer, but each and every one of them are untested in England and more importantly The Championship. I know you get more for your money abroad, but The Championship is an unforgiving place to learn and I hope that Luzon has or is finding the right balance. Remembering also that every football league team needs to name so many ‘home grown’ players in it’s matchday squad.
Yesterday, in a strange move, Marko Dmitrović was sent on a season-long loan to network club AD Alcorcon in Spain’s 2nd tier. The move is a result I suspect of the Serb not wanting to be 3rd choice, and that Duchatelet feels there is more value in the 23-year old getting regular football. Dmitrović has only started 16 games in his career at 3 different clubs, but did okay when called upon last season, and impressed for Serbia in the U21 Euros this summer.
That news was accompanied by the story of professional goalkeeping bench warmer Stuart Taylor joining us on trial. Taylor, who is now 34, has started just 75 games in a career which started 18 years ago at Arsenal. If he passes the test, one would think he would sign a short term contract and take his familiar place on the bench as back-up to Nick Pope while Stephen Henderson recovers from his operation.