Pape Matar Sarr exclusive Tottenham midfielder on settling into Spurs, football-mad family and following Sadio Mane’s footsteps

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Pape Matar Sarr sits down with Sky Sports to discuss his first few months at Spurs, his Senegal origins ; watch Tottenham vs Chelsea live on Sky Sports Premier League this Super Sunday from 12.30; kick-off 1.30pm

A first Premier League start in a home north London derby against Arsenal. A Champions League debut at the San Siro against AC Milan.

“It’s not the easiest start, huh?” a smiling Pape Matar Sarr tells Sky Sports at Tottenham’s training ground, brimming with the confidence of someone older and more experienced than his modest age of 20.

But let’s not forget that this young midfielder has already accomplished a lot in his career, especially over the last 12 months. Africa Cup of Nations champion with Senegal and one World Cup campaign under his belt – alongside his first outings in Tottenham’s first team.

But within those highs have come some lows. Sarr admits that last year’s World Cup in Qatar did not go the way he wanted, after making just two substitute appearances which totalled 60 minutes of tournament football. “I went there with higher ambitions than what I came back with,” he says.

There has been disappointment at club level too. Sarr linked up with his Tottenham team-mates for the first time last summer, having spent his first year under contract at the club on loan at former side FC Metz.
But he had to wait even longer for his first-team bow. His first outing was a ten-minute cameo on New Year’s Day. He was only trusted with his first start in the FA Cup win over Portsmouth six days later. Tough going for a young player who has adapted to a new country, language and culture.

Asked why his Spurs bow came later than he hoped, Sarr replies: “It’s a team. We have five central midfielders within that team and the coach has to make his decisions.

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