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Who is Pape Matar Sarr? and Why Manchester United are interested?

Manchester United linked with Pape Sarr. (Photo by Fred TANNEAU / AFP) (Photo by FRED TANNEAU/AFP via Getty Images)

In the last few days, Manchester United have been linked to Senegalese midfielder, Pape Matar Sarr. 

  • Position: Midfield
  • Date of Birth: 14/09/2002
  • Height: 5ft 11in
  • Strong Foot: Right 

Who is he?

Pape Matar Sarr is a highly rated 18-year-old midfielder currently playing for Ligue 1 side Metz. The youngster international joined Metz in September 2020 from Senegalese academy Génération Foot. Since then, he has made 27 appearances, for Metz scoring four times. The midfielder made his debut for Senegal’s first team in March 2021 against the Republic of Congo in a goalless draw and has 2 caps for his country. He also featured 6 times for Senegal’s U17 team and scored three goals. He’s been linked with Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea recently. 

Strengths 

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Sarr has many strengths in his game. He is versatile as he can operate as a box-to-box midfielder as well as a defensive midfielder. One of his outstanding traits is his passing as seen in his 85% pass completion in Ligue 1 last season. Sarr’s range of passing is also something to behold as he’s able to use a variety of played passes to his team’s advantage. He also possesses good passing range. Sarr also provides a goal threat with his excellent long-range shooting ability alongside a decent set-piece ability. Sarr is also fairly quick and has a good first touch making him a superb “press-beater” and progressor-of-play.

Weaknesses 

Sarr hasn’t display too many weaknesses in his still very infant career however his physicality does seem to be of some concern. At the moment, he’s doesn’t seem strong enough and lacks the ruggedness required of a potential Premier League midfield player. However, his age may also have a big bearing on how he presents himself physically, as he’s likely to improve in this respect.

Where would he fit in?

It’s difficult to say right now where Sarr would fit in at Man United if the club signed him as it’s likely he’d end up in a similar situation to the likes of Uruguayan winger, Facundo Pellistri, who has begun his second loan spell at La Liga side Deportivo Alaves, as well as Ivorian Amad Diallo who looks set for a loan move before the window closes at the end of the month due to the lack of game time he has had since arriving at United in January from Atalanta. Sarr would most likely find himself on loan for the next one or two seasons in order to get regular game time and gain experience which would ultimately be the right decision as he isn’t ready to play regularly in the Premier League. 

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Metz’s academy manager Olivier Perrin said: “I immediately said to myself that he was a top player, with a very high-level (with regards to) reading and analysing the game. He is Miralem Pjanic. He can play in a system with two numbers 10, he can be middle and box-to-box, he can be 10, 6, it depends on the coaches.” [Senego]

To conclude, Sarr is definitely a player with potential and someone United should consider signing as he has displayed the potential to play at the highest level. He would be pricey though as RMC have reported that Metz would want around €30 million for the Senegalese youngster. United will need to decide whether it’s worth it to invest such a steep sum of money for a player like Sarr who’s only had a single full season in one of Europe’s top leagues and lacks experience or whether to opt for someone more mature in European football and can come in and contribute to the side immediately. 


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