Former Arsenal and England Jack Wilshere has warned the Three Lions to be wary of Senegal star Ismaila Sarr when the two sides meet in the 2022 World Cup round of 16.
The opposition cannot be, and will not be underestimated, with the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations champions enjoying a quietly impressive tournament so far.
After a narrow, late loss to the Netherlands, Senegal defeated Qatar 3-1 and Ecuador 2-1 to qualify from Group A – all without their captain and talisman Sadio Mane, who was injured on the eve of the tournament.
It proves that even without the Bayern Munich star, their squad is still full of dangerous attacking players, not least Sarr who scored a penalty in the crucial victory against Ecuador.
The 24-year-old winger should be well-known to the England team, having played for Watford in the Premier League and Championship since 2019.
‘I’ve got a friend who was a masseur at Watford where Senegal winger Ismaila Sarr plays,’ Wilshere, who won 34 caps for England between 2010 and 2016, wrote for The Sun.
‘He says he’s never seen anyone as quick as Sarr. He’s got a lot better technically too which is why a lot of Premier League teams like him.
‘He’s definitely one we’ll have to watch on the counter-attack.’
Sarr has scored 30 and assisted 21 for the Hornets over the past three-and-a-half seasons, and has been linked with moves to bigger English clubs including Manchester United, Liverpool, Aston Villa and Crystal Palace.
For now though, he’ll just be hoping to cause an upset in Qatar and add to his 11 goals in 51 caps for his country when the Lions of Teranga take on the Three Lions.
‘We [England] won’t be complacent against Senegal — it’s not an easy game but it is better than facing the Netherlands which is what would have happened if we’d finished second,’ Wilshere added.
‘They have a lot of Premier League experience but if we get it right we’ll dominate possession and cause them a lot of problems.
‘It will be interesting to see if they come out and press us because they’ve definitely got the legs to do that.’
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