AS Monaco’s fourth recruit this summer, Malang Sarr is, even at just 23 years old, already very experienced. A central defender who can also play on the left side of defense, the native of Nice has come to reinforce the Monegasque defence and also bring his European experience. After the announcement of his arrival, here is all you need to know about the former French U-21 international.
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A precocious career
Born in Nice and trained at OGC, Malang Sarr made his professional debut in Ligue 1 on the first day of the 2016-2017 season against Stade Rennais at the age of seventeen. Proof of his precocity and his rapid adaptation to the French top flight, Malang Sarr would even be the only goalscorer in this game. As the season progressed, the slender defender (1.82m) established himself as a starter in central defense and played 27 Ligue 1 games in his first season.
He rubbed shoulders with Moussa Sylla on international duty
Despite debuting in Ligue 1 in 2016, it was two years earlier that the young Malang Sarr played for France at youth level for the first time, for the France U-16s, on October 28, 2014. Against Belgium, he played 53 minutes of a friendly. Eight other caps would follow in this same age category before moving on to the next level. From the U-16s to the U-21s, Malang Sarr would accumulate a total of 44 caps between 2014 and 2017, the date of his last cap, some of them alongside the former Monegasque Moussa Sylla, trained at the Academy.
100 matches in Ligue 1
Although he left more than two years ago, the solid left-sided played remained a regular in Ligue 1 despite his young age. Indeed, Malang Sarr has already played 119 matches in the top flight between 2016 and 2020, peaking in the 2018-2019 season with 35 games played. A regular starter under Patrick Vieira, he even wore the captain’s armband twice: against Saint-Étienne in 2019, and then against Toulouse in 2020 at only 21 years old, proof of his great maturity on and off the pitch.
He won a World Cup
With his regular appearances in Ligue 1, Malang Sarr became a sought-after player.. In the summer of 2020, he signed a contract with the English club Chelsea. It was a real change of scenery, including the opportunity to play in the Champions League. During his time in London, which also included a loan to FC Porto between October 2020 and June 2021, Malang Sarr won the 2021 European Super Cup and the 2022 Club World Cup.
A big fan of Thierry Henry !
Despite his profile as a solid defender, Malang Sarr started football as a… top striker! Our new recruit said as much in an interview for the official Chelsea channel, having played in this position from five to his fifteen with Didier Drogba as a role model but also, and above all the former player of AS Monaco, Thierry Henry. Having been converted to a central defender since, Malang Sarr admits to being inspired by some big names in this position, like Paolo Maldini.