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Spurs: Conte could unearth the next Pjanic in Pape Matar Sarr

Tottenham Hotspur are not short of promising young talents at present, with the likes of Alfie Devine, Harvey White and Maksim Paskotsi currently coming through the academy setup at Hotspur Way.

Meanwhile, prospects such as Dane Scarlett and Troy Parrott have been loaned out for the 2022/23 campaign in order to gain first-team experience further down the English football pyramid.

There is also a plethora of young talent in Antonio Conte’s senior squad, with the likes of Oliver Skipp, Ryan Sessegnon and Djed Spence having all featured under the 52-year-old either in the current or previous Premier League campaign.

However, there is one player in the senior ranks who, despite being signed for a considerable €18m (£15.5m) fee last summer, is still yet to make a competitive appearance for Spurs – Pape Matar Sarr.

Indeed, while it is true that, following Tottenham’s completion of the midfielder’s signing from Metz last year, the 19-year-old spent the remainder of last season on loan with the Ligue 1 side, the Senegal international is still yet to feature under Conte this time around.

However, considering just how much potential the youngster seems to possess, it would appear a wise move by the Italian to start blooding the teenager into his starting line-ups sooner rather than later, as the midfielder could well prove to be a hugely valuable asset for Spurs over the course of the 2022/23 campaign and beyond.

Indeed, despite playing for a team who would ultimately suffer relegation from the French top flight last season, the £13.5m-rated talent nevertheless impressed over his 33 league outings in 2021/22. He scored one goal, registered three assists and created three big chances for his team-mates, along with taking 0.9 shots, making 0.6 key passes and completing 0.9 dribbles per game.

The £11k-per-week teenager also impressed in metrics more typical of his position, making 1.4 tackles and 0.9 interceptions per game and completing 83% of his passes, along with winning 50% of his duels.

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A truly wasted talent...

Furthermore, as a result of Sarr’s impressive ability to read the game, Metz director Olivier Perrin went as far as to compare the 19-year-old to Barcelona midfielder Miralem Pjanic.

He said of the youngster in an interview with Senego in 2021: “At 15 and a half, he played his first match in Ligue 1. I immediately said to myself that he was top talent, with a very, very high-level reading and analysis of the game. He’s Miralem Pjanic. He is really one of the different players.”

Furthermore, with Conte known to favour versatile players who can fit into a number of different positions in his tactical setup, it would appear as if Sarr very much fits this bill.

Perrin went on to state of the teenager’s positional versatility: “He can play in a system with two number 10s, he can be middle and box to box, he can be a 10, a six, it depends on the coach.”

It is true that the Spurs manager has a gluttony of central midfield talent at his disposal at present, but should the 52-year-old place his trust in Sarr, he could well be rewarded with the discovery of the next Pjanic. That would undoubtedly be an incredibly exciting prospect for all involved with the north London club.

Article title: Spurs: Conte could unearth the next Pjanic in Pape Matar Sarr

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