The Trent End

Hughton facing puzzle as Nottingham Forest aim to stop £40m-rated speed demon

Nottingham Forest head to Watford tomorrow looking to stop a player who could be strutting his stuff for Liverpool.

Hornets wingers Ismaila Sarr agreed on a move to Anfield during the summer transfer window before the plug was pulled (The Athletic).

The reigning champions weren’t keen on forking out the £40 million demanded by Watford and they instead landed Diogo Jota.

Plenty of other clubs were interested but all balked at the astonishing price tag.

Watford v Derby County - Sky Bet Championship
(Photo; Charlotte Wilson; Offside; Offside; Getty Images)

Since then he hasn’t sulked and has proved a standout performer in the Championship for the promotion-chasing team.

Sarr checked in at Vicarage Road for £25 million from Rennes in the summer of 2019.

Despite six goals and six assists during his maiden campaign in England, he was unable to prevent the club from relegation.

This season he has continued his rich vein of form for the Hertfordshire-based club.

He has fired nine goals and registered nine assists, with Xisco Munoz starting to see the best of him.

He has scored nine goals and claimed nine assists for the Hornets as they seek an automatic promotion place.

His form doesn’t bode well for Forest.

The Reds head to Watford on the back of a surprise 1-0 defeat against Luton and are still glancing over their shoulder at the bottom three.

Forest will need to be at it to defeat the Hornets tomorrow afternoon.

Although scoring goals has been a problem, a lot of the game will depend on whether the Reds can do a job in silencing the rapid winger.

Sarr is supremely talented and is ultimately too good for the Championship.

His current form certainly leaves Hughton with a conundrum when it comes to picking his team tomorrow.

Who stops Sarr?

In pole position will be Yuri Ribeiro, with the Portuguese ace currently in possession of the left-back spot.

The 23-year-old has played four of the last five games and is the best left-back at the football club.

Gaetan Bong hasn’t featured in the squad for the last two games, with Tyler Blackett providing competition from the bench.

Watford v Derby County - Sky Bet Championship
(Photo; Marc Atkins; Getty Images)

Hughton hasn’t fancied changing his defence too much this season and Ribeiro looks likely to keep his place tomorrow.

The youngster does have the beauty of having stopped Sarr in his tracks already this season.

Forest were defensively sound in the 0-0 draw at the City Ground earlier this season, with Ribeiro particularly impressive.

Sarr has kicked on since then, however, and the pocket rocket will need to be at his very best if he gets the nod tomorrow.

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