This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets…
Back in the summer, Crystal Palace were dealt a huge problem on the eve of the transfer deadline.
Star man Wilfried Zaha handed in a transfer request with just over 24 hours left of the window, leaving the Eagles with a significant predicament and a situation in which they were forced to look for alternatives in case the worst case scenario materialised.
One of those alternatives was Rennes forward Ismaila Sarr.
The 22-cap Senegal international seemed like he was on his way to Watford with the French side agreeing a €30m (£25.6m) + €5m (£4.3m) (L’Equipe via GFFN) deal with the Hornets, although following the Zaha bombshell, Palace entered the bidding with a €30m offer.
However, a deal was too far along the line between Watford and Rennes, and Sarr ended up at Vicarage Road.
While that may have felt like a kick in the teeth for the south Londoners at the time, the Eagles could easily be viewing the 21-year-old forward as a bullet dodged given his start to life in the Premier League.
Sarr has made just five appearances in the top-flight so far, and is yet to score a goal or record an assist while also seeing the man who signed him – Javi Gracia – receive his P45.
Additionally, Sarr hasn’t impressed too much in his five appearances in terms of his ball retention.
In those five league outings, the 6 foot 1 attacker – who scored 13 goals and registered 11 assists last term – has 1.2 unsuccessful touches per game, while he is also dispossessed twice per 90 minutes on average in the Premier League.
Of course, he is still a young player settling into a new league. Although, if Palace’s lofty offer was accepted, one would assume that Steve Parish and Roy Hodgson would’ve been expecting more from such an expensive acquisition had he been wearing red and blue instead of yellow and black.
Sarr has time on his side, but as of now, he can easily be viewed as a bullet dodged for the south Londoners on the basis of what he has produced so far.