Date: 17th June 2020 at 1:00pm
Written by: Jimmy Light

As Newcastle United and Liverpool’s cross-town rivals Everton pursue a potential bargain deal for Nice defender Malang Sarr following his refusal to sign an extension, the 21-year-old’s strengths as a would-be centre-back partner to Virgil van Dijk seemingly appear too enticing to ignore. 

According to an update last month from French news outlet le10sport, both the Magpies and our Merseyside rivals are pursuing a deal for Sarr – with the youngster ruling out putting pen to paper on a new deal at his current Ligue 1 club.

Who should partner Van Dijk?

Joe Gomez

Joe Gomez

Joel Matip

Joel Matip

Dejan Lovren

Dejan Lovren

Malang Sarr

Malang Sarr

Currently valued at around €14.4 million (£12.5 million) by Transfermarkt, the fact he isn’t committing his future in France means he will be a free agent at the end of this month – gifting Liverpool the opportunity to bypass any fee for his signature and head straight into negotiations over a deal.

Having averaged an impressive 90.4% pass accuracy out 2019/2020, the young ball-playing centre-half seemingly has a real strength in retaining possession and allowing his side to build from the back.

As well as this, Sarr has made more interceptions per 90 than any Reds defender has this season according to WhoScored – all while accumulating a superior amount of tackles over Joe Gomez.

It’s clear, at least going by the numbers, that Sarr would be a bargain asset on a free – with sporting director Michael Edwards potentially having to stand up and take notice.

Dejan Lovren’s uncertain future on Merseyside has given Edwards and manager Jurgen Klopp a dilemma over who can replace him, but Sarr should arguably be considered as a real candidate to complement Van Dijk.

Still young, no transfer fee and proven in the French top flight – there appears to be little downside to this would-be swoop.