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CK Akonnor explains Mohammed Salisu's absence from latest squad

Mohammed Salisu 890864 Southampton defender Mohammed Salisu

Sat, 26 Sep 2020 Source: goal.com

Ghana coach Charles Akonnor said Mohammed Salisu was dropped from his latest squad to give him room to attain top fitness at Southampton.

The 21-year-old is yet to play in the Premier League since he completed a four-year deal from Real Valladolid in August.

After releasing his 23-man team for Ghana’s international friendly game against Mali in Turkey on October 9, Akonnor defended Salisu’s omission as he wants him to establish himself in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s squad.

“He is not in the team because I heard his coach spoke about him in terms of fitness level,” Akonnor told the Ghaha FA website.

“They are looking at October after the national games, before he will be back. Based on that, I want to give him a chance to rest and get fit and start a game in Southampton and then we will look forward to get him on board.”

Besiktas midfielder Bernard Mensah has been invited back to the Black Stars set-up for the first time since 2015 with his last game dating back to a friendly match against Canada.

After monitoring his progress in the Turkish Super Lig, Akonnor is looking to see the Accra-born star cement a spot in the middle of the park.

“After he came to play, we didn’t see much of him but now he is proving himself good,” he said.

“He was once with a club and moved to Besiktas which tells all the story about him and I have seen him on several occasions and watched him closely.

“He is one of the guys when given the necessary chance and confidence can bring change into the way we move forward. His style of play and the way he controls the game, I personally want to control the game in terms of possession and him, Partey and the rest are there to do that job and it is a big chance for him to come, play, do well and stay and not to go and come again.”

A surprise invitation was handed to 18-year-old Kamaldeen Sulemana, who has made a statement in the Danish Superliga this year after making his professional debut for Nordsjaelland in February.

Sulemana ended the second half of the 2019-20 season with four goals in 13 matches, and he has featured in his team's first two league matches this campaign.

Akonnor is excited by the promising talent and he wants to quickly integrate him into the Black Stars and learn from the Ayew brothers.

“Good player, young and I think he needs patience and time. I think we need to start developing and looking at the next 4 or 5 years, these are the guys and once we are able to start with people like that, we will be motivating them slowly,” the 46-year-old manager added.

“We are not going to push them too much but slowly develop them into the team. He reminds me of Jeremy Doku but unfortunately, he is gone for Belgium.

“He has that kind of style and ability to play like him and I think it is necessary to bring him to have a look at him and also to be around the team to see the likes of Dede Ayew the captain, Jordan Ayew and others who will help him to be a better player in the National team.”

Source: goal.com
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