An update has emerged on Aston Villa’s pursuit of Metz midfielder Pape Sarr…
According to the Birmingham Mail, Villa have decided to back out of the race to sign Metz midfielder Pape Sarr this summer.
The report claims that Villa’s interest in the 18-year-old midfielder has been cooled and that they are currently focussed on signing a number 10 as they also look set to miss out on a deal for Arsenal talent Emile Smith-Rowe.
Director of Football Johan Lange is facing a disaster with this decision and Villa fans will be gutted as Sarr could have been a much-needed arival for the club.
At this moment in time, no alternative targets have been named and supporters will have every right to be frustrated that a promising young talent will not be arriving at the club.
Dean Smith lacks strength-in-depth in the central midfield positions and the signing of Sarr could have helped to alleviate that issue. Marvelous Nakamba is the current backup defensive midfield option for the former Brentford coach and he struggled throughout the 2020/21 campaign. The 27-year-old averaged a dismal WhoScored rating of 6.52 in the Premier League as he made 13 appearances.
This suggests that Villa are in need of an upgrade on the Zimbabwe international. Sarr could have been that upgrade given his performances for Metz in Ligue 1. The teenager averaged an impressive WhoScored rating of 6.92 in 18 starts as a central midfielder, whilst making 3.2 tackles and interceptions per game.
Metz manager Frédéric Antonetti heaped praise on the young midfielder earlier this year, claiming that he “will go far” in the game.
“Pape Matar Sarr is elegance in the midfield, it’s talent, it’s making others play.
“He will be able to go as far as he wants to go. He must work, be as he is there, modest, regular, hardworking. He must continue to love football and he will do like the great players, he will go far. I think he will go very far.”
This shows why the £9m-rated gem could have been a very good signing for Villa, as he has the quality to fill a gap in Smith’s squad.
At the age of 18, he also has the majority of his career ahead of him to develop as a player and improve to potentially become a key cog in Villa’s XI.
Smith could have worked with him closely on the training pitch to nurture his game, but that now appears to be a distant memory with Lange now looking elsewhere. Villa fans will surely be gutted at this update.