Liverpool's Sadio Mane like a 'big brother' - Watford winger Ismaila Sarr

Sadio Mane and Ismaila Sarr helped Senegal reach this year's Africa Cup of Nations final
Ismaila Sarr and Sadio Mane (right) helped Senegal reach this year's Africa Cup of Nations final

Watford's Senegal winger Ismaila Sarr has credited Liverpool forward Sadio Mane for improving his game and helping him settle in England.

Sarr signed for Premier League side Watford from Ligue 1 Rennes in a club-record deal worth more than £25m.

The 21-year-old told BBC Sport he found it tough when he first arrived but his Senegal team-mate Mane has helped him.

"Sadio is talking to me all the time. He advises me to 'do this, do that'. He is a big brother for me," said Sarr.

"When I arrived, he sent messages saying 'welcome to the Premier League, welcome to England' and we also talk when we are in the national team.

"He gives me tips, I try to execute them and to implement them. 'If you don't play, be calm, carry on, do your job, it will be OK', that is what he says. So I try to do the same.

"If I do not play, no problem. I come and work on the following day."

Like Mane, Sarr started his career at Generation Foot, a football academy in Senegal's capital Dakar, before moving to Metz in France.

"When I was transferred from Metz to Rennes, I was watching videos of Sadio - his accelerations, his dribbling... I watch everything," said Sarr, who has scored one goal in nine Premier League games so far.

This weekend he comes up against Mane when his side visit Anfield to play the Premier League leaders.

"I think the match will be like any other. We are going to work. We are going there to fight. We are not going there just to watch Sadio play - we will also have to play," Sarr said.

"I have to show I understood the advice I was given by him. At the end of the match he can give me some more tips."

Sarr says he found it hard not being a regular in the Hornets' team to begin with but more regular game-time means he now feels at home in his new league.

"It is different. It has been difficult for me during the first two months as I was not playing," he said.

"Now I start playing a little bit and I hope it will be like that from now on."

Sarr has played 26 times for Senegal, scoring four goals, and alongside Mane was part of the Teranga Lions squad at the last Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt where they lost 1-0 to Algeria in the final.

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