It will be an expensive deal for the Eagles to complete, as Watford are not willing to let him go for less than the £30m they paid to sign him from Rennes, despite their relegation back to the Championship last season.
However, his pace makes him an ideal candidate for Vieira’s side, as he could provide a serious threat on the counter-attack, which the Eagles played to perfection for their goal in the 1-1 draw against Liverpool on Monday night when Ebere Eze and Wilfried Zaha combined.
Since signing for the Hornets, Sarr has contributed 25 goals and 19 assists in just 95 appearances, catching the eye with his debut season in the Premier League, particularly when he notched a brace in a 3-0 win against previously unbeaten Liverpool in February 2020.
Sadio Mane was not wrong when he sang the winger’s praises upon his move to Watford, as he said:
“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.’”
Should he make the move to Selhurst Park this summer, he could form a dangerous partnership with Aaron Wan-Bissaka down the right-hand side.
The 24-year-old right-back has been touted with a return to Palace in recent days after Erik ten Hag seemingly made it clear that he is surplus to requirements at Manchester United by leaving him out of the first two fixtures.
Wan-Bissaka’s pace, power and defensive attributes could lock down the right-hand side and ensure that Sarr has more freedom to stay higher up the pitch, where he can exploit defences on the counter-attack.
Indeed, he is as solid as a rock at the back, only being dribbled past 0.47 times per 90 minutes over the last 365 days, meaning he is impressively in the top 4% of full-backs in that area of the game across Europe’s elite leagues.
With that in mind, the Man United star would be able to cut out attacks with ease before laying the ball on to Sarr to break away with his tenacity and pace.
Signing two 24-year-old players for the right-hand side would also fit in with Palace’s ethos of signing younger players under Vieira, and the French manager could have a superb partnership for the significant future if Dougie Freedman can bring both Sarr and Wan-Bissaka to Selhurst Park before the transfer deadline.