Demba Ba has talked up Tottenham starlet Pape Matar Sarr’s chances of helping Senegal cause a World Cup shock against England, writes the TBR.
England of course face Ba’s native Senegal on Sunday evening with a place in the quarter-finals of the World Cup up for grabs.
Everton’s Idrissa Gueye is suspended, while Nottingham Forest’s Cheikhou Kouyaté is also injured – along with Sadio Mane, of course.
Ba told the Athletic that gives Sarr a chance to shine on the biggest stage of all and truly announce himself to an English football audience.
He said: “Idrissa Gueye’s suspension for the England game is more bad news.
“He’s another of our best players in the way he impacts the game and in his personality. So it’s showtime now for our younger players.
“Tottenham’s Pape Matar Sarr doesn’t have the experience of Sadio but he can bring something else, especially offensively.
“He can threaten England. Some of those kids now have to step in and do the job for us.”
Antonio Conte has never played Sarr for Tottenham and he spent last season on loan with Metz, the club Spurs signed him from initially.
It would be a shock for England if they were knocked out by a player who Conte has not deemed ready to use in any fixture yet.
But they have to be ready for anything against a team who will fight hard to get to the last eight and won the Africa Cup of Nations this year.