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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