Becoming Ralph Hasenhüttl’s second summer acquisition, here’s everything you need to know about Mohammed Salisu.
Arriving at St Mary’s, the central defender’s switch to the Premier League marks the latest step in a meteoric rise to prominence for the 21-year-old, who joins the club following a standout debut season in La Liga with Real Valladolid.
Dubbed ‘the wall of Valladolid’ by Spanish newspaper El País, Salisu excels in one-on-one defensive situations whilst offering a physical presence standing at 6’3”, only being dribbled past 12 times in over 30 appearances last season.
However, the Ghanaian offers more than just robust defensive attributes, keenly stepping out of the defensive line to snuff out danger and with the ability to pick a pass after doing so.
Unlike many starts to life in professional football, Salisu’s journey to La Liga started in humble fashion in his home country.
After joining the African Talent Football Academy from fellow Ghanain outfit Barcelona Babies, Spanish scouts spotted the defender’s potential in a match that he almost failed to feature in. Unaware of the scouts’ presence, Salisu had to borrow an ill-fitting pair of boots from one of the goalkeepers in order to take to the field.
Still impressing, he joined Valladolid’s academy in the latter part of 2017, adjusting to life in Spain quickly enough to be promoted to the first-team ahead of the 2018/19 campaign.
Making two Copa del Rey appearances that season, it was the 2019/20 campaign that saw Salisu announce himself to the football world in impressive fashion.
An ever-present for Sergio González’s side, the commanding central defender played a pivotal role in helping the Spanish outfit to their highest-placed finish in 17 years.
Able to dominate both in the air and on the floor the Ghanaian’s signature became highly sought after, with Spanish giants Barcelona and Atlético Madrid joined by Manchester United in the list of clubs keen to continue the defender’s swift rise.
With Saints winning the raise for Salisu’s services, the commanding defender is fully equipped to continue his rise to prominence in the Premier League and in the red and white of Southampton.