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Is Chelsea’s Malang Sarr heading for the big time?

Eduard Bănulescu

Chelsea’s Malang Sarr is slowly carving his own path in one of Europe’s finest squads. The defender’s calm delivery on the ball and work rate have many Blues fans raving about his abilities. Just what are Sarr’s chances of reaching the top echelon of footballers, and what’s likely to be his future at Chelsea?

Malang Sarr’s career as a promising youngster

Malang Sarr is 22 years old. Although he is struggling to gain playing time for Chelsea this season, he’s accumulated a good resume in his years as a professional footballer.

Sarr is a graduate of the OGC Nice school of football. A native of the city of Nice, Sarr rose through the ranks of the club and ended up playing more than 100 professional games for the top side.

His good performances caught the eye of Chelsea who signed him on a five-year contract in 2020. The player was loaned out to FC Porto in his first season, even getting to impress in the Champions League against Manchester City.

Malang Sarr‘s abilities and weaknesses

Malang Sarr plays mainly as a central defender. With the Frenchman enjoying long spells as a starting player, Nice finished above 8th place four seasons straight. Sarr’s best season was 2018/19. In this campaign, Sarr played 35 games and enjoyed a passing success rate of 93.1%.

This made numerous top clubs pay attention to the player. Sarr was viewed as the kind of ball-playing defender who could make the leap to the Premier League. While the Frenchman’s tackling and aerial abilities are somewhat below par, Sarr makes up for those with his technique and work rate.

Sarr’s performances for Chelsea

Malang Sarr features plenty of competition in the Chelsea squad. Still, it is telling that manager Thomas Tuchel has opted to retain the player in the squad for this season, in spite of plenty of options in the central defender position.

Sarr has made two appearances for Chelsea this season. In both, he was highly rated, leaving numerous fans hoping to see more of the player throughout the season. The defender starred in Chelsea’s 1-0 away win to Brentford. Sarr played in a three-man defense that included Trevor Chalobah and Andreas Christensen.

Sarr completed 58 passes, most of them progressive ones, and had a success rate of 89.2% in this regard. He made 4 tackles, all of them in the final third. His pressing abilities were also well noted. The player enjoyed a similarly good performance in the League Cup against Aston Villa, in which Chelsea won after extra time.

Malang Sarr’s future

Malang Sarr has the ability to play as a regular for a top side in one of Europe’s best leagues. However, the player is still developing, especially in terms of defensive capabilities. A lot of this can be improved. Sarr needs more playing time, but will he get this season at Chelsea.

Malang Sarr faces considerable competition for a starting spot. Antonio Rudiger, Cesar Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva, as well as Chalobah and Christensen can occupy this position.

Still, given Chelsea’s highly busy fixture list and Sarr’s confident performances so far, Tuchel will provide the player with more opportunities to start. These could be further aided by Rudiger’s transfer during the winter break. Sarr will need to grab his chances and impress.

Malang Sarr has a bright future ahead of himself. At 22 years of age, he has already shown his competency in three major European leagues. Just how far and how long he will be able to go is anybody’s guess, but expectations are naturally high.

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