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How can Mohammed Salisu fit in at Southampton?

Salisu Mohammed23 Salisu has been one of the most coveted players in Europe following his breakthrough season

Fri, 7 Aug 2020 Source: David Koi Tei/Contributor

English Premier League side Southampton completed the signing of defender Mohamed Salisu from Real Valladolid for a fee of £10.9m.

He penned down a four-year contract that will keep him at St Mary’s Stadium until 2024.

He joins a few list of Ghanaians to look out for in the upcoming season.

Salisu has been one of the most coveted players in Europe following his breakthrough season with Spanish club Valladolid.

But how well do you know him? What are his key strengths? And, how is he going to fit in at Southampton?

The Ghana international, 21, made 31 La Liga appearances for Valladolid during the 2019-20 campaign.

During that period, his pass completion percentage of 84.3% from 1,056 attempted passes (per StatsBomb data at FBRef.com) points to a player who is comfortable on the ball, a quality which is valued in Hasenhuttl’s Saints team.

It’s a better percentage return than Jannik Vestergaard (80.3%), Jan Bednarek (79.7%) and Jack Stephens (74.3%), the three centre-backs with the most starts for Saints this season.

He has also won 33 tackles, fewer than Bednarek (38) but more than Stephens (32) and Vestergaard (10, but from fewer than half as many games as Salisu).

Salisu’s 36 interceptions also catch the eye when looking through his stats.

As for Premier League players, Joe Gomez, Davinson Sanchez and Nathan Ake are among those with fewer, as is Southampton’s Stephens, though Bednarek is up there with the best in the league on 70.

Weeks ago, Southampton coach Ralph Husenhuttl had said that their backline is something they were looking to beef up.

“We always have players in our mind, especially in the centre-back position. It is a position we want to do something in.”

“I think we have a little longer transfer window maybe to face, it’s important we don’t make as many signings but the signings we will make they must be perfect,” he told Daily Echo.

Mohamed Salisu is expected to hit the ground running when the 2020/2021 Premier League season resumes in September.

He will be coming up against top attackers like Aubameyang, Sergio Aguero, Harry Kane, Mohamed Salah etc and will be hoping to keep them silent and possibly keep clean sheet against them.

Last month, Ghana head coach C.K Akonnor revealed the Ghanaian had refused an invitation from the GFA to play for the Black Stars.

Source: David Koi Tei/Contributor
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