Pochettino’s Chelsea squad so big he completely forgets star on £100k-a-week

Nine players in, 20 out, and that's just in this summer's transfer window.

If it was hard for Mauricio Pochettino to keep abreast of all the players at his disposal when taking on the job at Stamford Bridge, another few months of upheaval have hardly made it much easier for Chelsea's new manager.

And it seems he's already struggling to stay on top of all those available to him as he completely forgot about Blues defender Malang Sarr when asked about the centre-back at his latest press conference. "Who?" Pochettino replied, when quizzed by a reporter on the whereabouts of the Frenchman.

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"I don't know what I can tell you," he admitted, before joking: "I don't know because you surprised me, it's like you punch [me in the face] and I am like this [dizzy]."

Chelsea beat off stiff competition to land Sarr on a five-year deal back in August 2020 after his contract expired at Nice. The now-24-year-old was considered a bright prospect after winning Nice's player of the season award at just 21 and featuring for every age group for France up to and including the under-21s.

Since then, Sarr has been on loan to Porto and Monaco, sandwiching eight appearances for Chelsea in between, including a role in the Club World Cup final victory in 2021. He returned from Monaco this summer after making 17 appearances in all competitions for the Ligue 1 club last term.

Sarr didn't feature at all for Chelsea during pre-season and the Evening Standard claim he is one of three players on the club's books yet to even speak to Pochettino, which may explain why the Argentine had no idea who he was. That might frustrate some Blues fans, given Sarr is cashing in a whopping £100,000 per week.

The Standard's report adds that Chelsea are struggling to drum up any interest in Sarr's services due to the size of his wages, with under a week of the transfer window remaining. Chelsea completed their latest signing, Deivid Washington from Santos on a seven-year deal, on Thursday, and are now edging towards another in New England Revolution goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic.

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