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Sarr decision to stay a big benefit for Watford in EFL Championship - Edwards

10:00 GMT+3 03/09/2022
Sarr-Watford-2022-23
The 24-year-old Lion of Teranga was expected to leave the Hornets but will now remain at Vicarage Road

Watford manager Rob Edwards has admitted he was very delighted to retain winger Ismaila Sarr despite being a transfer target in this summer window.

The 24-year-old Senegal international was among the Hornets players who were subject to speculation, with Premier League outfit Aston Villa reportedly making an enquiry for his services.

However, the Hornets turned down Villa's approach and Sarr will now play for the Vicarage Road side, who lost Nigeria international Emmanuel Dennis to Nottingham Forest, in the EFL Championship.

Speaking ahead of their fixture against Rotherham United at New York Stadium on Saturday, Edwards acknowledged retaining Sarr, who helped Senegal to win their first-ever Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, alongside Brazilian Joao Pedro.

“I’m delighted to have kept Joao and Isma, obviously," Edwards told the club's official website, adding: "I stressed after the game on Tuesday that they’ve both been amazing during a difficult period, and I can’t speak highly enough of them.

“Whether it’s on the grass, in the office, in the canteen or whatever, you would never know that anything’s been going on. They’ve been great. We’ve all seen their commitment on the pitch, and their quality is always going to help the rest of the team.”

So far in this campaign, Sarr has made five appearances in the league and accumulated 415 minutes of playing time.

He has notched two Championship goals, making him tied as the club's top scorer, and provided two assists.

His first goal of the season came in the 1-1 draw against West Bromwich Albion on August 8 while his second was in the 2-1 victory against Middlesbrough on August 30.

Watford are currently placed fourth on the 24-team table with 12 points from seven matches. They have managed three wins, three draws and one defeat.