Malang Sarr, a young French defender previously with Nice, has joined Chelsea.
The 21-year-old left the Ligue 1 club this summer following the end of his contract there and has now signed a five-year deal with us. He will spend the 2020/21 season out on loan. This will provide the chance to gain valuable game time and add to his experience so he will be ready to join our squad.
On signing Sarr, Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said: ‘The opportunity to sign Malang was one we could not miss. He is a tremendous prospect and we will be monitoring him closely during his loan period, hoping he will soon be back at Chelsea. We are very happy to welcome him to the club today.’
Sarr had played for his local side Nice since he was five years old and became a regular in their first team at the age of 17. He had a dream start when he scored the only goal of the game on his debut in a Ligue 1 match against Rennes in August 2016.
Primarily a centre-back but also able to play on the left of a back three and at left-back (he is left-footed and six foot tall), within three years he had made 100 appearances and won the club’s young player of the year award. He has scored in the Europa League and has experience of the Champions League qualifying rounds. For his last two seasons on the Cote d'Azur he was managed by Patrick Vieira.
With Nice opting for a patient, build-up-from-the-back style, Sarr was often involved early in their moves and his passing into the attacking third had influence. He has a good first touch and defensively, his mobility stands out.
At international level, Sarr is eligible to play for Senegal due his parents but he has represented France from Under-16 to Under-21 levels and captained their Under-18s. He played at the 2019 Under-21 Euros.
In total for Nice he made 119 appearances and scored three goals.