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Everton linked with January moves for Senegalese duo

| 10/12/2022 47comments  |  Jump to last

Everton are "exploring" a deal with Watford for Senegal international Ismaila Sarr as Kevin Thelwell and Frank Lampard look for attacking reinforcements for the upcoming transfer window.

The Mirror claim that the Blues want to sign the winger for £35m next month but suggest that the Hornets will resist any offers to sign him as they keep their sights set on promotion back to the Premier League.

Sarr, who was once strongly linked with a move to Liverpool and almost joined Aston Villa last summer, has scored six goals and set up three for Watford this season.

Everton have struggled to create and score goals so far this campaign, managing just 11 in 15 games, and are also being mentioned as potential suitors for Sarr's Senegal team-mate and striker, Boulaye Dia.

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The 26-year-old is currently on loan at Salernitana in Italy's Serie A from La Liga side Villarreal.



Reader Comments (47)

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Alan J Thompson
1 Posted 11/12/2022 at 06:38:02
The striker seems to speak for itself but do we really need another winger, as good as Sarr seems to be, or is there somebody moving out in the next transfer window possibly over wage demands or part-ex?

Has Agent Gana been having a word as I doubt we have a good relationship with Watford despite the 3 or 4 players going backwards and forward over the years – and a manager.

Derek Knox
2 Posted 11/12/2022 at 07:21:19
Sorry, but £35M for a Championship Winger? Has Football gone mad, and especially Everton, if true?

Admittedly, Sarr is a decent player but he is more in the £10-15M bracket. (I still baulk at those sort of figures too!) Don't we ever learn either, dealing with Watford of all clubs?

Why can't we get these sort of players before they have ascended to these lofty price tags? There must be deals out there, especially with some of the 'African unknowns' who would jump at the chance to prove themselves on the big stage?

One minute, we are hearing about FFP and that we have no money left, and that all the riches we had have been blown. Then we hear of continued stupidity, when trying to acquire much-needed replacements in forward areas! It virtually beggars belief.

I am becoming more and more disillusioned with both Everton and football in general, something I could never have envisaged saying in the past.

Tony Everan
3 Posted 11/12/2022 at 08:20:50
It’s going to be difficult to sign the right, quality players we need in the January window. Clubs won’t want to sell their best players and if they do it will be inflated prices and long expensive contracts. It’s a minefield. Think Walcott and Tosun, we’re digging deeper trying to get out of a hole and could inadvertently be digging a bigger one if Thelwell is not prudent.

Sarr is a decent player but not a 35m one. His stats have improved for the drop in class to he Championship. In the PL he found it more difficult. Still he’s young and you could argue he is improving, hes tricky, pacy and direct, he’s a decent gamble at £20m if we’re selling a winger .

Dia is scoring goals in Italy this season 6/10. At 5ft 11 he’s not really a target man so I’m concerned he will have the attributes to hold the ball up and distribute. Will he find the Premier League too much ? I look forward to some more informative views on his player. ie Would he bring more to the team than say Brereton -Diaz?

From what I’ve seen of Mohammad Kudus I’d love to see him at Everton. Sadly it looks like that ship has now sailed.

I’m unconvinced the diminutive strikers above Dia, Brereton, are the answer. I think we need a striker who has some presence, aerial ability and who can score. More of an essential, direct replacement for the never present, unlucky DCL. If we’re spending £30m + to stave of the threat of relegation I think we have to go big on this type of striker. The best available.

To make a point , Im not advocating to sign him, but look at Dutch player Weghorst caused all sorts of problems for the tough Argentine defence. Look at the much more classy, aged, Giroud, what an important player he still is at the top level. Lukaku comes into this catagory too. Often not easy on the eye but gets goals, has presence and is very difficult to defend against.

It just shows you how difficult it is to defend against such strikers. It’s what we need, what we’ve been missing and what we’ve got to find.

I just hope we are not going to tinker around the edges of this issue. Get the peripheral players in on loan loans or frees.

But for this striker, don’t spare the horses, finances or whatever, pull out all the stops.

Signing this player is what will save Frank and Everton FC from another relegation battle. This one player is he one most likely to ignite progression and the craved, steady resurgence as we head for the BMD.

Robert Tressell
4 Posted 11/12/2022 at 09:38:12
Tony #3,

Weghorst would have been a good signing. Unlikely to have scored many for us but provides a focal point for the attack.

Derek #2,

Ismaila Sarr cost £17M when he joined Rennes from Metz as a teenager. Watford paid £30M for him. Currently 6th, Watford could go up if they keep him. But he's out of contract in 18 months.

Taking that into account, I think Sarr is probably worth £20 to £25M now. It would probably be money well spent too as he's a much more consistent goal threat than Gray, Gordon and McNeil.

Unfortunately, Derek #2, there aren't really any African unknowns these days. They're all doing well already at mostly French clubs like Wooh (21) of Cameroon (and Rennes) and Ounahi (22) of Morocco (and Angers).

The former was bought for £9M from Lens and will command at least twice that now, I expect. And buying someone off the back of a good world cup is an expensive and risky business.

More generally Boulaye Dia is a decent physical striker but he's really not a great player by any stretch. He'd improve us while Calvert-Lewin is out, but he's unlikely to impress.

Laurie Hartley
5 Posted 11/12/2022 at 10:02:59
Tony #3,

You have it right; this squad desperately needs a target man, not another winger.

Danny O’Neill
6 Posted 11/12/2022 at 10:17:14
I don't always pay much attention to speculation, but the last time we paid Watford what we thought was over the odds for a half-striker / half-winger, he turned out fairly decent and I think most would wish he was still here now.

I personally would rather shop elsewhere, but we've brought in some decent players over the years from the Championship and other "lesser" leagues. Jagielka and Cahill spring to mind. Godfrey too, although technically he was a Premier League player who had been relegated.

Pickford falls into that category and technically he had been relegated Sunderland's back up keeper until injury to their first choice gave him his opportunity. Mykolenko and Patterson spring to mind as more recent examples.

I'm never snobbish about looking to other leagues, home and / or abroad.

I'll leave this to the manager and DoF. Just hoping they don't spend and we end up with a new manager and DoF in several months, which has plagued our team planning and strategy.

Christopher Timmins
7 Posted 11/12/2022 at 11:34:12
We are looking for an upgrade on Maupay who can really challenge Calvert-Lewin. Not easy to find such a player.

With regards to Sarr, is the boy from Blackburn not a better bet at lesser money?

Colin Glassar
8 Posted 11/12/2022 at 11:41:49
I'd rather get Zaha from Crystal Palace. Goalscorer and pain in the arse for refs and opposition.

And don't tell me his age. Have you seen Thiago Silva, Messi, Giroud, Pepe, Modric etc… lately?

Steavey Buckley
9 Posted 11/12/2022 at 11:43:00
Why doesn't Lampard invest money on new strikers?

Everton don't have any who can score goals who are not injured and not out on loan.

Robert Tressell
10 Posted 11/12/2022 at 12:04:03
Colin, Zaha is waiting to move to a Champions League club on a free at the end of the season. He won't be remotely interested in joining Everton.

We might well be in beggars can't be choosers territory unfortunately this January.

Tony Abrahams
11 Posted 11/12/2022 at 12:38:06
The squad needs another target man rather than a winger, but are our wingers good enough?
Shane Corcoran
12 Posted 11/12/2022 at 12:48:49
Everyone (nearly) has forgotten we can’t spend money because of FFP. Or maybe Bill has assured everyone “it’ll be grand”.
Colin Glassar
13 Posted 11/12/2022 at 12:55:25
Shane, Bill might’ve found the Arteta money for all we know.
Danny O’Neill
14 Posted 11/12/2022 at 12:56:31
Always been intrigued with Zaha.

If I'm being critical, big fish in a small pond and it never worked when he tried to make the step up. Not exactly prolific and now aged 30.

Then again, I'm no ageist and I'd take his goals from last season and this one right now. He would help the team play on the front foot and give the midfield options in front of them. I was keen on signing him when we were linked and hoped that would have come off at the time.

I doubt very much he'd touch Everton now. I would That's another ship that has sailed.

Trevor Peers
15 Posted 11/12/2022 at 13:41:48
Lampard should be scouring the EFL for a cheaper option, to solve our goal-scoring issues, seemingly that's all we can afford.

Having watched the ITV programme showing highlights, there are better strikers in those leagues than we currently have, Akpom is an example at Middlesbrough he seems able to find the net, although he would be a gamble that's where we're at.

It's down to Frank to unearth someone because undoubtedly his job depends on it, he can't do it tactically with the players he has, so buying goalscorers is his only way of keeping the job and he's going to need a huge slice of luck to get it right.

Sean Roe
16 Posted 11/12/2022 at 13:42:29
With our entire scouting network working hard all over Europe looking for hidden gems at cheap prices, I'm surprised there was anybody left to scout bog standard Championship wingers so close to home.

I keep looking nervously at the Ayoze Perez situation at Leicester so I suppose Sarr is a slight improvement.

Si Cooper
17 Posted 11/12/2022 at 14:24:26
Expect there will be the names of some Moroccans in these rumours by next week.
Should we assume any of the Portuguese starlets are likely out of our price range?
Steve Shave
18 Posted 11/12/2022 at 14:27:48
Tony @3

A sensible post mate and I agree that is what we need. Any suggestions? Our scouts Tommy and Robert along with Sam might have some ideas. I don't get why we keep getting linked to Dia, he's on loan so out of reach surely.

We keep getting linked to Cunha, can't see it personally, good player but will be expensive plus he isn't that target man you speak of. Let's just get Wood off Newcastle then when Dyche takes over from Frank he will be with all his favourites! ;)

I jest.

I would like Sarr, even at the figure quoted and believe he would be an upgrade on what we have. Gordon may still go you know, though sadly for nowhere near what we were allegedly offered in the summer. Shame we didn't take that money.

Kunal Desai
19 Posted 11/12/2022 at 14:52:55
My bet is that there isn't any money for a decent quality forward. It will either be a sell-to-buy, moving on Gordon perhaps, or a loan option with minimal outlay. Not expecting much.

Think about it logically in a summer window when there is supposedly meant to be a wider pool of players available and we bring in Maupay, what chance have you got in January (a very difficult window) to bring in better than Maupay?

I just don't see it.

Robert Tressell
20 Posted 11/12/2022 at 15:36:55
Steve #18,

There are a few in the category of (a) who would improve us and (b) who we might be able to get (possibly on loan only in some cases). To my mind these include:

Overseas leagues:

- Onuachu of Genk
- Wright of Antalysaspor
- Petkovic of Zagreb
- Moffi of Lorient
- Wahi of Montpellier
- Burkhardt of Mainz
- Beto of Udinese
- Kaio Jorge of Juve
- Rutter of Hoffenheim


- Gyorekes of Coventry
- Piroe of Swansea
- Brereton of Blackburn
- Pedro of Watford

There's a mix here of quite ordinary players in good form (eg Gyorekes with his 9 goals for Coventry), to youngsters with star potential (eg Wahi (6 in 14 this season, 10 in 33 last season and still only 19) to last chance saloon types hoping for a big move in their late 20s like Onuachu and Petkovic.

But it is more about what is available than anything - and what our budget is (or is not).

Peter Carpenter
21 Posted 11/12/2022 at 16:05:01
We should sign someone from the World Cup superstore - a new contender for the Besic-Mina complete-waste-of-money-award.
Danny O’Neill
22 Posted 11/12/2022 at 16:20:25
Double tap, sorry
Danny O’Neill
23 Posted 11/12/2022 at 16:20:48
It's easy to get carried away with one off good performances at tournaments, but I'd be looking at some of those Moroccan players. Although a few already are on the books of some big European teams.

And the Croatia keeper Livakovic if we lose or decide to cash in on Pickford.

Ray Said
24 Posted 11/12/2022 at 16:23:31
No doubt we need a striker but, in my view, we also need a decent holding midfielder. Guye is a tackler, harasser and he can be creative occasionally but we need someone with the nous and ability to sit and cover the defenders like Carsley did. That would allow us to play a bit higher up the pitch and get more support to whoever we play up front.
Robert Tressell
25 Posted 11/12/2022 at 17:17:51
Ray # 24, we need about 4 to 6 major new signings in all honesty. One of those, you're right, is a holding midfielder with a good range of passing. This January though we need forwards. In other areas we lack some quality but at least we have numbers. In forward areas we don't even have numbers.
Steve Shave
26 Posted 11/12/2022 at 17:56:44
Thanks for that list, Robert, knew you'd oblige. ;)

I'd love us to get Wahi but he definitely isn't a target man either, tricky forward though and probably not the answer to our goal drought right here, right now. The sort of player we should be scouting and signing before they become big names.

Why we aren't buying regularly from France and Belgium on a regular basis (Doku, Sangarre etc) before they become big is beyond me, this has to be the model from now on. Develop them and move some on for big cash. Our model was devised by chimps.

Sam Hoare
27 Posted 11/12/2022 at 18:56:05
Sarr has not improved much in the last few years and is almost 25 now. He's probably better than what we have but i'd be very wary of spending over £20m on him.

I'd much prefer Joao Pedro who has been just as good this season (if not better) and is only 21 or Ndiaye from Sheffield United who has 9 goals and 3 assists so far and is only 22.

Matheus Cunha is a really good player potentially and I like Rutter at Hoffenheim.

Outarra from Lorient looks interesting as does Openda at Lens. Terem Moffi is a physical forward whose been banging them in for Lorient and could be a good alternative to DCL. Jonathan David is obviously a more expensive and unlikely option. I've like Gouiri for a while too.

There's definitely players out there but the good ones cost a lot in January and would have to hit the ground running.

No point buying good forwards though if we can't the ball to them. Frank needs to sort out the midfield and maybe stop playing Onana as an advanced midfielder but instead have him sitting alongside Gana so we get more control in the centre.

Barry Rathbone
28 Posted 11/12/2022 at 19:13:15
The worst place to go for players is the World Cup.

Below the standard of Premier League football, the over-hyping of moderate players and subsequent inflated prices is a recipe for disaster. If scouts haven't identified prospects before the World Cup, it is utter folly to use the tournament as a gauge.

Remember, Harry Maguire is being touted as one of England's stand-out players!!!

Pat Kelly
29 Posted 12/12/2022 at 10:49:48
Unless we sell Pickford or Gordon, we're not spending anything like £35M. But we need a proven regular, goalscorer if we're to stay up.

Even if we sell, getting such a striker in January is a tall order. Lampard's and Thelwell's recent recruits don't augur well. Maupay, McNeil, Gana, Garner (not even given a start and now out) have done nothing to improve us.

Lampard's ship may have sailed.

Tony Everan
30 Posted 12/12/2022 at 12:16:01
Broja stretchered off with a nasty knee injury yesterday so at least we won’t be wasting any time begging Chelsea for a loan.
Derek Knox
31 Posted 12/12/2022 at 13:22:12
Sam @ 27,

I have seen the speculation about Cunha to Everton, who would ostensibly be a major upgrade on anyone we have up front at present, including the seemingly forever-injured Calvert-Lewin. As many have said, where is the money coming from, and are we still under FFP restrictions?

Cunha, yes… but no more Cuntas!

Joe McMahon
32 Posted 12/12/2022 at 13:29:26
Pat @29, at the moment not sure Gordon would bring much money. Forget the Chelsea ghost bid. Its there with Arsenals ghost bid for DCL, neither bids actually happened.
Jim Lloyd
33 Posted 12/12/2022 at 14:16:08
I think if we try to sell anyone, it's going to be looked on as car boot corner. Other clubs will know we're desperate. We'll be lucky to get a regular goalscorer.

I'd hope we'd look at the lad from Blackburn and also see if we can get Simms or/and Dobbin back. This half-season looks to be as vital as the last half-season proved to be and somehow we've got to get hold of one scorer and one creator. I think we can make do in defence/defensive midfield but are desperate for attacking skills.

I'm not sure about us letting Frank go. Definitely if we buy players that Frank and Thelwell chose. It would be insane to let them pick players then sack them.

Conversely, if we sack them now, a new manager has to assess the squad while trying not see us fall behind other teams. We've no time to spare to swap managers in my view.

Robert Tressell
34 Posted 12/12/2022 at 14:48:47
We don't necessarily need a fortune to improve the forward line. A few years ago, Allardyce found Mbaye Diagne for West Brom on loan. There are lots of players of this standard / profile knocking about.

Maupay is not a dreadful player, he just needs a physical player alongside him.

There are plenty of physical players about. I do expect us to get more than just that though. The chances of getting Brereton Diaz are good in particular. His value is going down rapidly as he approaches the end of his contract.

FFP etc isn't a complete barrier to improving the side – just as spending lots of money did not prove to be a guarantee of improvement either.

Derek Knox
35 Posted 12/12/2022 at 14:51:58
Jim @ 33, I think you are right there, regarding again swapping manager midstream. I think most of us like Frank, but he has fallen short on more than one occasion with both team selections, (including late or ill-timed subs) and tactics.

I appreciate he had little to work with from the start, but has proved to have done okay, apart from the forwards in the Transfer Market. Coady and Tarkowski have made a massive difference in defence, and Myko and Patterson (when fit) make up a very good back four. Be interesting to see how we fare over the Xmas Fixtures and what happens after that.

Jim Lloyd
36 Posted 12/12/2022 at 15:50:02
Thanks, Robert. That's the lad whose name I couldn't remember.

I think you're absolutely right about Maupay. We're not really helping him to get the best out of him.

Maybe he was hoping Calvert-Lewin could do the job; but it's debatable whether he can see the season out. Mind you, another goalscorer would be a great help anyway. Have you any thoughts on a supplier or creator who wouldn't cost a mint?

You're right, Derek, Frank hasn't helped himself on a number of occasions. What he has done for most of his time, is give a lot of our players belief in themselves and each other. Some are not up to the job anyway, but look how he's got Iwobi playing; and your dead right about Coady and Tarkowski.

They've improved our defence no end and so have the young lads either side of them. We've nearly got the midfield right and, if we can get the attack functioning better, then we've got a chance of staying up.

Whatever caused the catastrophe in Bournemouth, it's got to stop there. Our supporters didn't deserve that. We cannot afford to let that ruin the fragile confidence of the players. I think how we reacted towards the end of last season will be needed right from the start of Boxing Day.

Robert Tressell
37 Posted 12/12/2022 at 20:27:11

I happen to think that, in the right system, McNeil, Iwobi, Gordon and Gray have more than enough.

But as with the forwards, the players are always out there.

It looks like the club is working towards Beto or Dia or similar. These are not great players by any stretch but they pose a threat and have the physicality to help Maupay.

Jim Lloyd
38 Posted 12/12/2022 at 20:42:43
That looks good, Robert. Iwobi, Gordon and Gray are all fast and skilful.

I think, though that Gordon will hopefully learn to look up and use the pass more.

It might be because is new in, but McNeil, looked a bit slow (lost) at times; but he is a skilful player, and I don't think so much would have been paid for him if they didn't rate him highly.

I think Gray is pure class, if we can use him effectively. He's got a great shot on him.

Do you think Maupay can be a sniffer-type play, getting in on the end of things? But I don't see him being able to do the job on his own.

How do you see their strengths and weaknesses?

Robert Tressell
39 Posted 12/12/2022 at 21:19:50
Jim, the general weakness is that some of our players just aren't very good.

But being more positive, McNeil crosses a ball well. Gordon and Gray can run in behind. Iwobi is a good one-touch footballer.

We just need a team structure to allow them to flourish.

Gordon should have ambitions of becoming a Mason Mount type for us. The others will always be hit and miss.

But that's currently also true for Anthony and Sancho at Man Utd who cost the best part of £200M. Not many with the consistent end product of Son and Salah.

Jim Lloyd
40 Posted 12/12/2022 at 21:55:30
Thanks, Robert.

I agree about some of the players we've got and, just to rub it in, the money we've paid out for them and their wages.

I think the problem is, is that we have a bit of a job lot being picked during different managers' tours of duty. And our good players aren't particularly good and other teams' bad players aren't as poor as ours.

I suppose that having a different manager each year hasn't helped either; and talk about getting another one to solve the conundrum, is very chancy indeed.

Mal van Schaick
41 Posted 13/12/2022 at 12:19:11
The defeats at Bournemouth are worrying and, if we don't improve after the break, we will be in trouble.

I note that Everton have added another injury medic to the staff, no doubt because of Mina and Calvert-Lewincontinuously being injured.

Wolves is a winnable home game, but whoever comes in January has to have an immediate impact.

Mick Roberts
42 Posted 13/12/2022 at 12:46:40
Total bollocks – it's just something put out by the club.

Show the fans we intend to spend. We know Watford won't sell. After the window shuts, we say" We tried, they wouldn't budge." Job done.

I am not buying it.

Tom Bowers
43 Posted 13/12/2022 at 21:25:22
We have been poor so far and a number of reasons may apply.

Firstly, Frank may not be the right guy, although we all wanted him to be after the flops who preceded him, but it may just be he inherited the same set of problems despite getting new players.

The lack of a replacement for Richarlison was the first big balls-up and that was compounded by Calvert-Lewin being injured.

We have since had some very inconsistent performances by others despite chopping and changing, resulting in a run of poor results.

We could also say that the tactical formation does not suit the squad of players Frank has and of course that may be down to him and his cohorts – notwithstanding the fact some players are just second-rate.

It may be a sad fact but Everton may have to scratch and claw for every point from now on as I cannot see any possible new additions who could come in and make much of a difference at the moment.

We all hope that just maybe this break will benefit the club so that they can approach the next few games with a renewed confidence.

Stu Darlington
44 Posted 14/12/2022 at 10:13:55
Tom @43

Good post, pretty much mirrors my feelings.

What I am concerned about is the idea that Lampard's tactical shortcomings will somehow have miraculously improved over the World Cup break!

The displays against Bournemouth were totally unacceptable and highlighted his inability to get a tune out of this admittedly poor quality squad.

Do we have any reason to be more optimistic in the second half of the season?

45 Posted 28/04/2023 at 11:02:10

46 Posted 28/04/2023 at 12:26:12

47 Posted 28/04/2023 at 12:28:09

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