For Sheffield United striker Iliman Ndiaye, this winter gives him a chance to realise his dream of playing in a World Cup with Senegal.
Ndiaye was given the call into the Senegal squad by Aliou Cisse after a superb season for United so far. Ndiaye has hit nine goals. Along with Oli McBurnie, he is the top scorer at Bramall Lane.
Of course, all eyes at United will not only be on how Ndiaye does in Qatar but if he can keep injury free. The Blades’ rotten record with injuries this season has plenty of supporters worried. Not only that, but there’s also a nagging feeling that if Ndiaye plays well, Premier League and European scouts will be knocking on the door.
Ndiaye has 19 months left on his current deal. He is one of the priorities this season to get tied down to fresh terms.
However, while all eyes from United will be on Ndiaye when it comes to Senegal, the African nation do have some other players who Blades fans should keep tabs on. Here, then, we’ve listed those players and why they should be watched.
Seny Dieng (GK – QPR)
Goalkeeper Dieng has gone firmly as the third choice stopper for Senegal. With that, the chances of him seeing action are slim, with Edouard Mendy and Alfred Gomis ahead of him.
Dieng is of note for the Blades given our past interest. The QPR ace was linked with a £6m move to Bramall Lane when United sold Aaron Ramsdale.
Pape Matar Sarr (Mid/Def – Tottenham)
Not an obvious name for United fans to keep note of, but one who could be available in January. Reports have suggested Sarr will be sent on loan by Antonio Conte in January.
Given United’s injury troubles, Sarr is one we should keep tabs on. Sarr can play both midfield and in defence and if he available, could kill two birds with one stone for Paul Heckingbottom.
Sadio Mane (Fwd- Bayern Munich)
Mane’s inclusion in the squad has come amid an injury which is likely to rule him out of at least the opening game.
For United fans, Mane’s availability will influence how much Ndiaye might get used. Should the former Liverpool man not recover at all, then Ndiaye’s chances of minutes will improve significantly.
Ismaila Sarr (Fwd – Watford)
While not a player United have a chance of buying, Ismaila Sarr is one to watch given Watford’s slow creep up the table into fourth place in the Championship.
Slaven Bilic has slowly got the Hornets going along nicely after a miserable start. Sarr has been vital in that turnaround.
United fans will be interested to see how Sarr does. If he does really well, then he could be off in January, significantly helping United’s own hopes of promotion.