Mohammed Salisu has emerged as one of the top-rated youngsters in the Premier League and after making a name for himself in Spain, he is establishing himself steadily at Southampton.
His big breakthrough came at Real Valladolid in la Liga two years ago. That was after playing two seasons in the club’s second team, Real Valladolid II.
However, two years after breaking through, he is yet to start his international career and there are fears he may make this decision when it is already too late. In March, he was called up to the Ghana national team but the 22-year old indicated that he was not ready to make that step.
At the time, Ghana was at the height of the 2021 African Cup of Nations qualifiers, with matches against South Africa and Sao Tome & Principe. He cited fitness issues as the reason for declining the offer afforded by national team coach CK Akonnor.
This was not the first time he rejected the national team call. In March 2020, in a shock move, he rejected a call-up for a game against Sudan in the same qualifiers, which left the coach bewildered and declared the defender is not interested in playing for Ghana.
Lately, the player has come out to declare he is still interested in playing for the four-time African champions but with the team already qualified for the AFCON competition, it isn’t likely he will get a chance after failing to take part in the qualifiers. Positions for such competitions are issued somewhat as a deserved reward for the sacrifice in the qualifiers and with that assumption, Salisu clearly doesn’t merit.
In the meantime, he is doing well for himself at Southampton, though the team isn’t performing so impressively. He struggled a bit to fit in but has so far played seven league matches, which is quite good for a 22-year old, in light of Southampton’s struggles.
The Saints have been very poor lately, with just two wins in the last 15 league matches, and as they head to their next game, against Leicester City, Premier League predictions on Wincomparator favor a Leicester win despite Southampton being at home. At 2.15, William Hill carries the best odds for a Leicester win while 1xBet has the best for a Southampton win at 3.34 and a draw at 4.
As Salisu keeps winning hearts at The Saints, the big concern remains is he will get to feature for the Black Stars at his prime and the danger he faces is that new star players keep coming through in Ghana set up.
Born in Accra, Ghana on 17th April 1999, the youngster is not a dual citizenship holder neither has he expressed interest in turning out for another country, which is the reason his reluctance to play for Ghana is hard to understand.
With the current upheavals due to Covid-19, his club, like many more in the Premier League, will be fine with having the player always available.
Declining international call-ups work for the Saints.