Football

“I was surprised and happy”: Malang Sarr opens up on his reaction when Chelsea signed him last year

22-years old French defender Malang Sarr has recently admitted in an interview that he is still ‘surprised’ that Chelsea ended up signing him. The Blues signed the youngster as a free agent last year and almost immediately loaned him to Porto. However, the defender is determined to make his mark for the Champions League winners once his loan spell gets over.

Malang Sarr started his professional career at Ligue 1 club OGC Nice in 2016. It was during his tenure at Nice that he was scouted by various top-tier clubs. Last year when his contract with the French club ended, Chelsea bagged him up amid a lot of competition. However, due to the intense competition in Chelsea’s defence, head coach Thomas Tuchel decided to loan him out to Porto where he got Champions League exposure.

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Malang Sarr played 6 matches in the Champions League last season helping Porto to keep clean sheets in 3 of them, and had a passing accuracy of 90% in his own half.

In the Primeira Liga, his numbers were even more impressive. He played 8 matches for Porto in the league, kept 1 clean sheet and had a passing accuracy of 95%. He also made 0.9 interceptions per game 1.6 clearances per game.

Malang Sarr has told Chelsea’s official website of an opportunity that was too good to pass up: “I was training on my own, training at home and just waiting.

“I had been almost six months without playing [after seeing Ligue 1 shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic], and when my agent told me about this opportunity to come here to Chelsea, I was surprised and happy.

“It was a great opportunity for me. He talked to me about going on loan for the first year and for me it was a good idea.

“I hadn’t played for a long time and I needed to get the rhythm and to play and have a good experience also, step up after Nice, and come back stronger and ready to go.”

Malang Sarr of FC Porto clashes with Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match between Juventus and FC Porto at Juventus Arena on March 09, 2021 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images)

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However, Malang Sarr is yet to cement his position in the Chelsea squad. He is said to be Chelsea’s next big defender in making and the Blues do not want to hurry things with the Frenchman. However, Malang Sarr is eager to win more major silverwares with his parent club.

He added on his ambition: “It’s a pleasure to be here, starting to work, we are working very hard and very well so I’m happy. I have enjoyed being here.

“I have spoken a little bit with the manager, he knows I speak French so we have been talking. I have a good feeling here; everybody is very good with me. I can feel everybody is ambitious here.

“They want to work and they really want us to give the best every day, and that’s a good thing because that’s how I see things. I really want to work hard every day and try to improve in every aspect.”

“I hope to join the team and help the team to the top.

“They finished the season as Kings of Europe. I’m here to help and to let the team stay at the highest level, trying to bring all the good energy and my work to the team. I know the club is ambitious and I am ambitious as well, so it’s a perfect match.”

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