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Mohammed Salisu ! The Invisible Man
Friday, 23rd Oct 2020 10:15

When Saints were chasing the signature of Mohammed Salisu back in the summer, Saints fans were excited about the move and there were plenty of stories in the press, yet since joining the Saints the club itself have said nothing.

When Mohammed Salisu joined Saints on August 12th there was no grand unveiling with the usual picture of a smiling player wearing the shirt alongside a beaming Ralph Hasenhuttl , this was not seen as strange though, after all the player himself was in Spain and with the restrictions in place between that country and the UK, he would not just be able to pop backwards and forwards with ease between the two countries.

Indeed upon his arrival in the UK he would need to go straight into a strict self isolation for 14 days, but after the club announced this, things have gone strangely quiet.

No updates on when he arrived in the country and went into the self isolation period, no updates on when he would come out of it and no updates on when he started training or his fitness in general.

So we have to assume that it took him a few days to sort out his affairs in Spain and get to England, that being the case we have to assume that he ended his self isolation in early September.

What we do know though is that in the final couple of weeks of his career at Real Valladolid he had a muscle injury and that his last game for the club was on 1st July and after sitting out a game on the 7th July on the bench, he was not able to be in the squad for the remainder of the season and presumably train much either.

So for Salisu he would have come out of self isolation and arrived at Staplewood not having played a game for over two months and not trained much either.

So when Ralph Hasenhuttl mentioned at the end of a press conference in early September that he didn't think Salisu would be available until after the International break, those who know a little about modern training methods were not surprised, that thinking is that it takes at least six weeks of pre season to take a player from his summer break to full fitness.

So that it would be six weeks before he was in contention was not surprising, however players in pre season will play in pre season friendlies etc and if there is one thing that is strange here is that so far Salisu has not appeared in a B team fixture.

Pictures of him in training have emerged, a pen picture on the club website appeared, but there has been no fanfare at all, you would have expected that after he came out of self isolation that Saints would have done a big story, finally got the pic in the shirt at the stadium and done the usual interview with the player, Abrihima Diallo and Theo Walcott arrived and had the full works, but still nothing about Salisu from the club, google his name on the club news page and you get several stories from his arrival, but nothing else.

Ralph Hasenhuttl was asked in a press conference last week, but said little aside from saying he hoped he would be in contention in the next week or so.

So why is Salisu the invisible man, as you would imagine several conspiracy theories have emerged on social media including that he is totally crocked, that after seeing him in training there is now a Kevin Danso scenario where Ralph just doesn't fancy him as a player and that Salisu himself had decided he has made a mistake.

These rumours are starting to get louder, back in September it was easy to bat them away, although it was strange the club were almost ignoring his existence, there was the excuse that he was not ready to go and they were building up to a big fanfare upon his availability.

But now questions are being asked, Ralph was accurate in saying that he would be at full fitness after the International break, but why did he not play 30 mins here and there for the B team etc, why is there still complete silence.

Perhaps there is nothing sinister going on, but the longer the silence is deafening the more the rumours will start.

The fans want to read about new signings, they want to see them in action even if it is only clips in the B team.

I would be surprised if Salisu is in the squad this weekend, if only because of his lack of game time, however It would be good to see his name mentioned, one timescale for his readiness for the first team has been and gone, it is as simple task to give a reason and keep the fans informed.

Photo: Action Images



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felly1 added 10:41 - Oct 23
Let's hope he's not the new Delgado!
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dirk_doone added 10:51 - Oct 23
"several conspiracy theories have emerged on social media including that he is totally crocked, that after seeing him in training there is now a Kevin Danso scenario where Ralph just doesn't fancy him as a player and that Salisu himself had decided he has made a mistake. These rumours are starting to get louder"

Yes, as soon as I saw your headline, I thought of Kevin Danso too.
1

1teeminants added 11:18 - Oct 23
For Salisu see Forren, Caceras and Danso . Salisu Obviuosly suffered an injury that’s probably why others did t come in for him and it’s taking a lot longer than expected to heal. A fit Salisu would have been far too expensive for Saints. I hear he is thought of very highly . Let’s hope this ends well.
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mbetts1976 added 11:32 - Oct 23
We have a recent history of about 50% of our signings are flawed but I suppose long term getting a Mane or VVD balances off for the Elelousy’s etc.

It’s the clubs philosophy and what makes us appealing to the relatively unknown players around Europe.
0

IWOZTHERE added 12:38 - Oct 23
A conspiracy of silence is bound to make everyone fear the worst?... To be honest, the chances of a 21/22 year old having the experience, and getting the respect to organise our back line is pretty remote anyway!
1

schatfield added 13:07 - Oct 23
Isnt this website just making those conspiracy theories worse?

He is a young, gifted player and some players will take longer than others to fit into Ralphs way of play; dont forget our mgr has a very distinctive way and if all players dont fit that, then he wont play them. With our squad, we need all thinking alike, so its totally understandable that someone, who may not be fluent in English, is taking longer to adapt to this way.

Give him a chance and some time before putting up headlines calling him the invisible man
0

SonicBoom added 13:38 - Oct 23
It's very odd but I don't believe Ralph doesn't like him. January signings can be rushed but this was a summer signing so we had plenty of time to plan and research the player.
If we bring him in and immediately realise he's not up to it then frankly someone in recruitment should get the bullet.
As for why he hasn't been interviewed etc it really is inexplicable.
3

SaintPaulVW added 13:54 - Oct 23
If he's the talent we thought he was then spending a bit of time getting him ready to go shouldn't be an issue.

If he isn't then he shouldn't be playing him anyway.

In Ralph we trust.
0

KohSamuiSaints added 14:11 - Oct 23
Fully Agree with SonicBoom ....
let’s hope it not another ‘Wreck it Ralph’ Signing like Danso ....
I was feeling quite happy when Southampton announced Salisu Signing so early in the Transfer window I went to Dr Google online and read all about Salisu ... Southampton FC usually don’t sign players early in a transfer window , so I presumed that Ralph wanted this player desperately before other clubs were sniffing ....
Posts on the internet was raving about this guy and how quickly he could adapt to anything thrown at him ....
I’m not sure who are best central defender and leader on the pitch is ..?
I hope that Salisu is our new Dean Richards , Ken Monkou , Mark Wright , VVD , ...
I would be very surprised if this guy is not the real deal ....
And after a couple of MVP displays Liverpool or Spurs are not banging Ralph’s door down with another Saints player to grab ....
Good luck Salisu ... Good luck Ralph ...COYS
0

SanMarco added 15:53 - Oct 23
So what we know is that this guy does actually exist and he is in the Saints squad - but is recovering from injury. The only reasons for concern are:

1. Our own recent experiences with signing duds.

2. We live in a social media saturated, news conference, 24 hour rumour/gossip machine era where 'news' has to be constant and exciting. Near silence and not much news creates conspiracy theories because conspiracy theories are exciting and having nothing to talk about is not playing the game.

After such pious words I will now hypocritically make my own conjecture: Saints knew he had an injury that would keep him out until November and basically strung us along. I am possibly right or possibly wrong - we will find out eventually.

PS I meant November 2020 but you never know.
0

derbydog added 15:59 - Oct 23
It could be that, as a centre back, he is frightened of being exposed to Nick’s regular criticism! Imagine if Saints conceded a goal with him in the team the abuse he would get on this site!
4

underweststand added 16:59 - Oct 23
I'm not as negative as some contributors above...nor am I surprised he hasn't played yet.

Not sure when his last competitive game was, but after the summer, and his quarantine and joining a new squad, he hasn't met not to mention a cultural adjustment /language
perhaps he does have an injury that needs time to heal(?)... or isn't upto the high standard that Ralph demands from players in training, and it takes time for new arrivals in any club to adjust to the pace/culture of the Prem.
However good he may have been in his previous club, he is still only 21 whereas any one of the players he is likely to replace does have some considerable Prem. game time.

Although we conceded 3 goals v. Chelsea - it felt like a moral victory - and I wonder just who (you) might choose to drop from a side that had previously kept 2 clean sheets... I wouldn't change the start side just now, or not until we might suffer some devastating type of defeat.. Salisu's time will come , I just think we need to be patient.
-1

mancuniansaint added 19:09 - Oct 23
Not followed this closely but...work permit problem?
0

kenis added 19:10 - Oct 23
It seems we love a failure / mistake as much as a success. Think there is no concern, we’ll get the splash/program interview etc after he’s played or when he’s in a squad game. Carabao cup exit probably won’t help but at the moment we have three centre backs all fit, who all know Ralf’s system and are ahead of him on the selection process. Once one of them is out injured, banned or out of form (not just make a mistake or two) and once he’s fully match fit, been in a squad and had a sub appearance or two he might get his chance. B team absence just proves he’s not fully fit or accustomed to the new system just yet.
1

theralpholution added 23:57 - Oct 23
The invisible man had more substance this article. Here’s an update in the Echo from a week ago. https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.dailyecho.co.uk/sport/18798426.amp/
1

Saidou added 03:11 - Oct 24
You can't play over 30 La liga games in a season as a main part of one of the best defense in the league and not be good enough for us. We aren't Real madrid or Barcelona. So scrub those rumors off your head. Now!

Ralph demands a lot from his defenders. Its taken vestergaard over a year to look ready. It may as well take this bloke a little longer than expected. We want him to come in and improve our defense but we don't wanna wait for him to be ready for the task? Why can't you be patient?
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