Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Report suggests Paratici has made big mistake by striking Tottenham deal for ‘stalling’ £16.8m midfielder

Pape Sarr in training with Senegal during AFCON 2022

Tottenham director Fabio Paratici may have blundered by recruiting Metz midfielder Pape Sarr before actually bringing him to the club, according to a worrying report in France.

The 19-year-old joined the club on August 27, with Spurs paying Metz £16.8m for his signature. However, the deal allows the Senegal international to remain and play for the Ligue 1 outfit this season, having been loaned back to Metz. Indeed, the move was intended to further help with his development, with Sarr drawing favourable comparisons to Paul Pogba.

Indeed, big things are expected of Sarr, who was also chased by a number of Tottenham’s Premier League rivals.

The 6ft 1in midfielder was initially chased by Aston Villa. Reports also suggested Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea were set to hold talks with his representatives.

However, it was Spurs who sealed his signing, with Metz president Bernard Serin explaining how Paratici’s cunning won the day.

“The cherry on top is that we can keep him for an extra year with us,” he told Moselle TV in October. “I was very attached to that idea. In the end, with the matches being played in empty stadiums last year, the fans hadn’t seen him.

“Therefore, the fact of transferring him without the fans being given a chance to see him. That hurt me, and so I insisted to have him for a year. As a result, I’m very satisfied that we have him for 2021-22 season.”

Midfielder struggling to fulfil early promise

So far this season, Sarr has made 25 appearances, scoring once. Playing though in an attacking midfield role, there is some disappointment in France that he has not contributed more.

As such, Sunday’s edition of L’Equipe dubbed Sarr and two Metz teammates ‘the harmless gang’, dubbing them not of the standard needed in Ligue 1.

Furthermore, following the deal with Tottenham, they claim Sarr has ‘never been able to confirm his box-to-box qualities and technical finesse which dazzled last season’.

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Dubbed as a ‘stalling’ player, the article reckons the Tottenham transfer may have ‘destabilised’ his career and come too soon for him.

In addition, Metz manager Frederic Antonetti says he also wants the midfielder to “take responsibility a little more”.

Metz appear happy with Pape Sarr transfer fee

All the same, Sarr will ‘complete’ his move to Tottenham at the end of the season. As such, he’s scheduled to join up with Antonio Conte’s side for first-team training in early July.

And while Tottenham’s deal is done, the criticism of Sarr will raise question marks over the wisdom of Paratici’s dealings.

That said, Metz themselves appear highly satisfied with the fee they generated for the teenage star.

Speaking earlier this season, Serin said: “Obviously, we always wish to get more. But he’s still a kid who has played very few games in Ligue 1. He only turned 18 on September 14 2020. We’re talking about a transfer when he’s not even 19.

“So, in the end, when I look at the transfer fee plus the bonuses that we can get when he plays for Spurs, I think we can be satisfied.”

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