Sadio Mane told Watford captain Troy Deeney to take care of “shy boy” Ismaila Sarr after his Senegal international teammate missed a sitter in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Liverpool .
Sarr completely missed his kick in front of the Kop in the closing moments of the first half at Anfield, shortly after Mohamed Salah had given Liverpool the lead with a fine goal on the counter attack.
Watford would also pass up other opportunities in the game, which was settled when Salah cleverly flicked home his second goal in the 90th minute after Divock Origi had miscued a shot.
Sarr became Watford’s record signing when he arrived at the club from Rennes for around £30million in the summer, but the 21-year-old’s impact at the club has so far been limited.
Saturday’s start at Anfield in Nigel Pearson’s first game in charge was just his 10th Premier League appearance, with his only goal coming in the 2-1 defeat at Southampton last month.
After the match Watford’s social media team caught Mane and Sarr chatting in French in the Anfield tunnel, when the presence of Deeney catches Mane’s attention and he shouts over to the Hornets skipper.
“Take care of my boy, yeah,” says Mane, who had a goal disallowed by VAR early in the second half of the match. “He’s a shy boy, shy boy.
“He just needs to speak English, he’s working on it. He’s a good boy.
“See you later. Take care.”
Mane clearly sees himself as something of a mentor to Sarr, who he praised in an interview with The Athletic back in August.
“I feel I need to protect him at the beginning because even though he is a really good player it is not easy in the Premier League, because I had that sort of problem,” he said back then .
“If there are problems to start off with then people need to take care of him, go easy on him and especially the fans need to support him and give him confidence for a great future.”