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Mohammed Salisu


How will Salisu’s debut go?  

46 members have voted

  1. 1. How will Salisu’s debut go?

    • Clean sheet
      17
    • Concedes penalty
      11
    • Scores the winner
      6
    • Own goal
      4
    • Hat trick
      3
    • Injured in the warm up
      10
    • Subbed off after 20 minutes, Dia style
      3
    • Sent off
      6
    • Another own goal
      2
    • False teeth fall out screaming for a handball against Patricio
      3
    • Meteorite hits Shropshire. Match abandoned
      9


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1 hour ago, Chewy said:

Because he’s not injured. It’s plainly obvious he has something going on in his personal life.

Chatting about issues is one thing, gossiping about someone’s personal injuries is another. You do get the distinction I take it?

No it isn't, nobody outside the club has a clue why the lad hasn't featured so far.

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1 hour ago, whiteleySaint30 said:

Either that or we have realised he just ain't upto it...... you remember Vegard Forren?

I don't remember Forren standing out as one of the best young CBs in La Liga.

I'm sure he will turn out to be a good signing, he clearly needs time...

If he doesn't then the fee we paid was worth the risk as other players of a similar profile like Fofana, Godfrey cost nearly 3 times as much.

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54 minutes ago, Dusic said:

I don't remember Forren standing out as one of the best young CBs in La Liga.

I'm sure he will turn out to be a good signing, he clearly needs time...

If he doesn't then the fee we paid was worth the risk as other players of a similar profile like Fofana, Godfrey cost nearly 3 times as much.

Except players of a similar profile such as Axel Disai (who we were linked with and ended up at Monaco) and Sven Botman (who someone on here mentioned and went to Lille) were available for a similar sum to Salisu and as far as I'm aware are all featuring at their clubs.

Hope this signing turns out well but the longer it goes on the more possible that the club have made a cock up or not done all the homework they might have done.

 

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1 minute ago, Badger said:

Except players of a similar profile such as Axel Disai (who we were linked with and ended up at Monaco) and Sven Botman (who someone on here mentioned and went to Lille) were available for a similar sum to Salisu and as far as I'm aware are all featuring at their clubs.

 

https://www.footballfancast.com/southampton-fc-news/southampton-axel-disasi-ralph-hasenhuttl-saints-mohamed-salisu

Quote

Southampton were one of several Premier League sides linked with Stade Reims centre-back Axel Disasi during the summer transfer window but the French defender ended up joining Ligue 1 side AS Monaco instead.

Saints would sign Mohamed Salisu from Real Valladolid, in a deal worth £10.9 million, and when you consider that the Ghanaian is yet to make an appearance for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side this season, it could be argued that the South Coast club should have pushed harder for their other target.

Disasi was available for just a fraction more than that, with Monaco eventually agreeing an £11.7 million deal with Reims for the centre-back and he has established himself as a regular in Niko Kovac’s side so far this season, having made 10 appearances in Ligue 1, in which he has contributed two goals and averaged a solid 6.74 rating (per WhoScored).

 

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13 minutes ago, danjosaint said:

Haven't Arsenal had similar with William Saliber,  bought him with high reputation,  left him at loan club for remainder of season to bring him back for pre season but Arsenal fans not seen hide or hair of him 

Good shout.

Arsenal do have about 600 centre-backs, though.

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3 hours ago, danjosaint said:

Haven't Arsenal had similar with William Saliber,  bought him with high reputation,  left him at loan club for remainder of season to bring him back for pre season but Arsenal fans not seen hide or hair of him 

He's a teenager in a strange country who apparently has lost both parents in the last year.

Arsenal seem to be taking it slow with the boy, which is appropriate - probably going to loan him back to France in the new year.

Unlike Salisu, Saliba's turned out for the u23s a few times.

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8 hours ago, Badger said:

Except players of a similar profile such as Axel Disai (who we were linked with and ended up at Monaco) and Sven Botman (who someone on here mentioned and went to Lille) were available for a similar sum to Salisu and as far as I'm aware are all featuring at their clubs.

Hope this signing turns out well but the longer it goes on the more possible that the club have made a cock up or not done all the homework they might have done.

 

Botman will be a real star. Like Gabriel and van Dijk before him, he is learning his trade alongside Fonte.

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19 hours ago, Appy said:

The conspiracy theories over a young guy settling in a new country on this thread are borderline creepy.

Hardly. He's an adult, albeit a young one, being asked to train and play football whilst having more money than he could ever spend and being given every assistance imaginable to find a place to live, get a phone, travel etc...

This is clearly not "settling in".

Clearly something is up. Aside from a very serious illness/prognosis I can't think what it could be though. Even if it's some sort of family tragedy or ongoing mental illness I can't imagine being kept out of competitive matches, even youth matches, would help for such a long period. 

I agree that there's no point seeking to pry into personal affairs but it is odd and it's quite normal for football fans to wonder what the problem is with their big summer signing and to discuss it on a forum. Especially when the coach has previously said he was hoping to have the player playing after an international break which has been and gone.

Whatever is up, I hope he gets better soon.

Edited by benjii
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2 minutes ago, benjii said:

 Even if it's some sort of family tragedy or mental illness I can't imagine being kept out of matches would help for such a long period.

Don't forget Fraser Forster and the mental type issues he had.

Edited by Master Bates
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My young daughter has a condition classed as selective mute, she is now 10 but when very young just classed as shy, she was diagnosed with this ar about 4yrs old . It means she is perfectly fine , very bright and headstrong but will only speak to missus or me or her very best friend, she won't speak to anyone else, there are measures at school like not saying 'here' at register allowing here to just raise her hand, she cannot be asked a direct question or put on the spot as she'll just break down so for her it's been very difficult and if Mo has a condition similar he could well be up to speed but if he doesn't speak Ralph can't put him in, sorry about ramble and probably miles off 

Edited by danjosaint
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2 hours ago, benjii said:

Hardly. He's an adult, albeit a young one, being asked to train and play football whilst having more money than he could ever spend and being given every assistance imaginable to find a place to live, get a phone, travel etc...

This is clearly not "settling in".

Clearly something is up. Aside from a very serious illness/prognosis I can't think what it could be though. Even if it's some sort of family tragedy or ongoing mental illness I can't imagine being kept out of competitive matches, even youth matches, would help for such a long period. 

I agree that there's no point seeking to pry into personal affairs but it is odd and it's quite normal for football fans to wonder what the problem is with their big summer signing and to discuss it on a forum. Especially when the coach has previously said he was hoping to have the player playing after an international break which has been and gone.

Whatever is up, I hope he gets better soon.

I agree, and with our recent track record on signings Carillo, Elyounoussi, Boufal etc, etc, fans are bound to be concerned. After all EPL football clubs are certainly in the publicity business with regards to their players and signings....

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While its important and right his privacy is respected, I can't help thinking the club has not helped with its lack of clarity to the actual situation. Ralph told us he was in full training a few weeks ago so why no B team appearance? Surely that's a fair enough question? I just feel had the club been a little more upfront as to the problem, it would have put an end to the speculation. As it is with our good start with the two centre backs playing well, it means that there is no clamour for him to play, but had things started badly this whole situation would have been much more awkward.

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23 hours ago, Appy said:

The conspiracy theories over a young guy settling in a new country on this thread are borderline creepy.

Please.

He’s a grown man on a fortune, with every assistance he could ever need, having moved from Spain to England.

It’s hardly refugee coming in on a boat territory. 

If it’s just a ‘settling in’ problem, then I’d be more concerned. But there’s clearly more to it then that.

Edited by LGTL
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Isn’t he also our second if not third most expensive centreback?

I think it’s fair enough that that everyone is wondering where he is because like I was quite excited about him. 
 

I don’t really want to know what issues he has or doesn’t have but I would like a time frame- I think that would be useful- when can we expect to see him play for the U23s or even make the bench?

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58 minutes ago, Fitzhugh Fella said:

While its important and right his privacy is respected, I can't help thinking the club has not helped with its lack of clarity to the actual situation. Ralph told us he was in full training a few weeks ago so why no B team appearance? Surely that's a fair enough question? I just feel had the club been a little more upfront as to the problem, it would have put an end to the speculation. As it is with our good start with the two centre backs playing well, it means that there is no clamour for him to play, but had things started badly this whole situation would have been much more awkward.

Nonsense. It doesn't help any of us fans to know any more. We don't need to. Instead, we have a few people clamouring to know more, seemingly because they feel an entitlement. There is no entitlement, and knowing more won't make a jot of difference to any of us - he still won't be available until he's available.

It's clear from what Ralph and Vest have said that he's working through some issues. It seems obvious that they're sensitive otherwise there wouldn't be a press embargo. I'm not sure why it's so hard to let it play out. 

 

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I know I probably banged on too much about Salisu's whereabouts up until a month or so ago, but the one thing that is still a puzzle for me is if Salisu has a debilitating "issue" then surely Fran Castano (the chap who discovered him in Ghana and went on to be his mentor / protégé) would have alluded to it in this in-depth interview after we signed him: https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11700/12052983/mohammed-salisu-to-southampton-rapid-rise-from-ghanas-dirt-pitches. ?

Indeed, whilst Castano acknowledges that Salisu is/was "very shy", he also says: "he just needs to play and be given confidence and patience". 

I guess Salisu's "issues" could have arisen and/or got worse since Castano gave that interview, but I still find it a bit head-scratchy that there's nothing that Castano says in August that would have led one to believe that Salisu wouldn't have featured in any Saints squad by the end of the year.

That's all I'll say again at this juncture. As I conceded a month or so ago, I acknowledge the desire to protect his privacy.

Quote

"He can be a great player," Fran Castano tells Sky Sports. "He is improving every day and you have to remember that he only played 30 games in Spain. Three years ago he was playing on dirt pitches."

Nobody appreciates Mohammed Salisu's leap better than Fran.

To Southampton supporters, this is their new £10.9m signing from La Liga - the Ghanaian centre-back labelled 'the Wall of Valladolid'. But the Spaniard still recalls the shy boy who turned up for one of his first sessions at his African Talent Football Academy without even boots in which to play.

Salisu borrowed a pair from one of the goalkeepers. The rest is history.

"I was about to kick him out," laughs Fran.

"But he caught my attention within 10 minutes. Salisu is special. Off the pitch, he was quiet and calm. He liked being alone or with three or four of his closest friends. He was very shy.

"On the pitch, everything changed. Character, aggression and leadership.

"He always wanted to win and he was capable of forgetting bad moments very quickly. His rapid rise has not been easy, but he has a very strong personality and knows what he wants."

Fran's own story is fascinating. Born near Madrid, he had a coaching career in his homeland working with young players at Jaen and Leganes before making the unusual move to pursue his career in Africa. He took up roles in Niger and Mauritania working with the best young talent around before realising his vision for an ambitious new project in Accra, Ghana's capital.

"I was tired of working in Spain," he explains. "The opportunities were limited and the salaries were low. I needed a new challenge and I have always liked Africa so I made the move.

"I had been working in Africa for five years and even managed to bring a player to Europe with the help of an agent. I realised that the boys were good, they had a lot of talent but their preparation was very poor. They needed better training, better nutrition and many other things too.

"In addition, I noticed that in Ghana, in any part of the country, even in the smallest town, there can be a great player that nobody has seen or given the opportunity."

With the help of an investor, in 2017, the African Talent Football Academy was born.

Fran's idea was to prepare the young boys in his academy for Europe - in every sense. Education is compulsory. Language skills are taught with the players learning French and Spanish. The focus is on ensuring that the subsequent transition will be as smooth as possible.

"We prepare them as footballers and as people," he says. "We want them to be prepared for the day that they arrive in Europe. We also know that many will not make it and still not return home so we want them to be prepared for that other life that they may have there too.

"On a psychological level, we work on character, empathy, resilience, competitiveness. We have many talks with them so that they learn to express themselves and to give their opinion. We want them to be strong to face difficulties and to be able to analyse and overcome problems.

"We also arrange trips to help in orphanages. We clean the beaches. That is so they see that there are people who do not have the opportunity that they have and that they should never forget this."

Salisu went through all of these experiences, while having access to top coaching. The idea was simple but demanding. He would need to be prepared for anything that was expected of him.

"Physically, they do not need a lot of work beyond the nutrition. Technically, we work on a lot. We enhance their strengths and we try to improve their weaknesses. There is an individual focus.

"In terms of tactics, we try to make them understand the game, be intelligent and be capable of making good decisions, but we do not really teach them any one system. That is not our main objective. We want them to be able to play within different systems and game models."

Salisu stood out because he picked everything up so quickly.

"He understood everything," says Fran.

"I was struck by the ability he had to improve. Every day he was a better player."

All of which made him a candidate for a move to Europe and Fran's contacts at Valladolid presented an opportunity for Salisu and two other hopefuls to test themselves in Spain.

"I knew the coach of the U19 team and contacted him," he says. "He told me that the players could come and play there. I called many teams but nobody trusted what I was saying.

"He was the only one who trusted me."

That faith was rewarded spectacularly.

Salisu needed to adapt. Despite the efforts of the academy, it would take time for him to be brought up to speed on everything from the language to the tactics. He was still raw but the talent was there.

Victor Fernandez, Fran's contact, and a legend at Valladolid, had soon seen enough, advising the head of the academy to snap him up. This was a left-sided centre-back like few in world football.

"Everything that is happening I imagined was going to happen," Fernandez has since said.

Within weeks, he was in Valladolid's reserves in Spain's third tier. When the club sold Fernando Calero in the summer of 2019, an opening in the first-team squad followed. The unavailability of two more defenders on the opening weekend saw coach Sergio Gonzalez turn to Salisu.

Valladolid won at Betis before holding Real Madrid to a draw in only his second appearance in La Liga. By the time that he was helping to shut out Atletico Madrid in October, the papers were proclaiming him a star. In February, they were linking him with a move to Manchester United.

Salisu finished last season having made 154 clearances - the third most of any player in La Liga. It has been a dramatic rise, his reputation growing quickly, but his feet remain firmly on the ground.

"Salisu is first and foremost a boy with a big heart. He is still shy, reserved and calm. He is a person who keeps his feelings to himself but he can also be very funny. He is very grateful for his chance."

Southampton won his signature and with it, an ambition has been realised.

"Salisu dreamed of playing in the Premier League," says Fran.

"I think the team is perfect for him and his own potential is still very high. Salisu will continue to improve, he just needs to play and be given confidence and patience. He can be a great player."

As for Fran and the African Talent Football Academy, he is using the money generated from the success of Salisu and others to improve the facilities there. Two new pitches are being built and there will be new accommodation on site for the next generation of young stars.

"The generation born in 2004 and 2005 is very good. There is one boy, in particular, who could be the best player yet. It is time to grow and I hope that there will be other options with other teams in other countries looking to our players and trusting this academy. The talent is here."

Mohammed Salisu is the perfect advert for that.


 

Edited by trousers
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100% pure speculation on my part but maybe he has a malaria flare up as malaria is something you could have contracted with never showing any symptoms and then it just flares up.

It can be addressed with drugs to prevent these relapses so maybe that increased the timeline for him getting to full fitness along with injuries.

 

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Can’t help but think all of this had something to do with Bednarek’s contract situation.

 

No sniff of involvement for Salisu and as soon as Jan signs up, he’s in the squad next game.
 

The threat of losing a £15m asset for nothing would arguably justify this whole chapter.

 

Probably not, but the timing is amusing to say the least.

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4 minutes ago, Avenue_Saint said:

Can’t help but think all of this had something to do with Bednarek’s contract situation.

 

No sniff of involvement for Salisu and as soon as Jan signs up, he’s in the squad next game.
 

The threat of losing a £15m asset for nothing would arguably justify this whole chapter.

 

Probably not, but the timing is amusing to say the least.

Interesting theory! :)

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3 hours ago, Master Bates said:

Is everyone happy now, you can take your nappies off now.

Am happy to be patient I just think the club needs to control the narrative otherwise we will make up our own assumptions as I think our club can't afford to spend 13m on a player who hasnt played a game at any level for us for nearly 4months.

 

The easiest thing to do at the very beginning would of been to say, "we've had to act fast to beat off competition and signed him now but we are going to slowly integrate him into our system and getting fitness so are not targetting him to be in the 1st team squad until Jan"

 

That would of set everyones expectations early.

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Perhaps this is all as simple as it seems? He's had an injury is taken a while to get over it, there have been a few set backs along the way, but all minor and the club are managing him back to full fitness without risking a serious further injury...

Sometimes the answer is the most obvious.

Or we could take the le tissier view that this is ALL A MASSIVE CONSPIRACY!

Edited by StrangelyBrown
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10 hours ago, Convict Colony said:

Am happy to be patient I just think the club needs to control the narrative otherwise we will make up our own assumptions as I think our club can't afford to spend 13m on a player who hasnt played a game at any level for us for nearly 4months.

 

The easiest thing to do at the very beginning would of been to say, "we've had to act fast to beat off competition and signed him now but we are going to slowly integrate him into our system and getting fitness so are not targetting him to be in the 1st team squad until Jan"

 

That would of set everyones expectations early.

Absolutely this...........communication is key to so much and Saints are, let’s face it, pretty abysmal at communicating. 

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On 13/08/2020 at 05:22, St.JonB said:

Are we confident this is not another Danso? Everybody got pretty excited by that signing as well. Not seen him play but hopefully he is as good as people are hoping. 

I am...confident that Salisu will show himself to be a good player.  I have no evidence apart from his pedigree in La Liga and a belief/hope that he will "pay his way".

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3 hours ago, niceandfriendly said:

Turns out all those calling for the thread to be locked "as there was clearly some big issue that he needs shelter from" were the ones initiating the rumours and fake news. He's fine, just an injury, as we expected. Can we keep talking about him now pretty please? 

People said it was a personal issue, not a big issue. The fact there was a press embargo in it suggests it wasn't a sore ankle or whatever. Regardless, he seems to be there or thereabouts now which is great for him, and hopefully us. 

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One thing the club have been suspiciously silent on is alien abduction. I classic case of them tricking everyone into watching the right hand. I get the negotiation for his release was probably sensitive, but they could have kept us in the loop a little better. Please, don’t shoot the messenger, it’s not easy carrying the burden of this insider information! I’ve probably said too much.

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I’m personally confident he’ll be fine and that there’s no long-term issue at play. Don't know any more than anyone else but got my own theory on his absence and thinking it’s more ‘regulatory’ than anything else (i.e. his absence may be more imposed than anything else). I don’t think it’s a coincidence that he’s available after roughly 3 months and that all parties have tried to keep as much attention off it as possible. I’m sure we’ll see him make an appearance in the first team soon and that this will all just be left in the past.

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