Naby Sarr’s inclusion in the Senegalese national squad for the upcoming internationals are fruits of the hard work by all at the club according to his manager.

Senegal have reportedly called-up the defender for their African Cup of Nations qualifiers against Congo and eSwatini this month although the club have yet to hear confirmation.

The inclusion of 26-year-old Sarr in the Senegalese squad is his first senior international call-up, having represented France at youth levels.

His Charlton boss, Lee Bowyer, spoke of the pride he had in Sarr and the club in their journey of getting the centre-back recognition on the big stage.

“It’s not confirmed yet but if those rumours are true I couldn’t be happier for him!” Bowyer said.

“There’s a lot of people that played a part in that journey.

“If you think where he was when I came back in charge, he wasn’t in a good place.

“Everyone knows the relationship with fans and Naby wasn’t good place at the beginning.

“But since I’ve been in charge a lot has changed.

“Naby has got his confidence back.

“He’s become a better defender.

“His work rate has been unreal on the training pitch.

“He lost weight, he got fitter, and that’s the reason why he’s a better defender."

'The fans should take credit'

Sarr joined the Addicks in 2015, and despite arriving from Sportin Lisbon with huge potentail and reputation, he failed to win over the home support and was laoned out to Red Star Paris for half a season.

Last season however the charismatic left-footed defender was influential for Bowyer on their way to promotion, seizing his chance to establish himself as a first choice defender following Jason Pearce's injury. 

His form has continued this season in Charlton's return to the Championship. 

Bowyer feels the player's resurgence is down to three key factors.

“I think us as staff, the players around him that support him, and I think the fans as well need to take credit.

“I’ve said before, you sing his name and his smile is so big and it gives him confidence.

“They (the fans), have played a massive part getting him where he is today.

 “Ok it was a bit sticky when he first came but they helped him get to that level.

“Us as staff, Naby, taking on board what we’ve told him, the fans giving that support when he needed it, he wouldn’t be performing like he is today without it.

“We all deserve to put our arm around ourselves and say well done.

“So if it’s true and he’s been called up, they should take some credit as well.

“But no-one more so than Naby, because he’s the one that goes out there and does it.”