Southampton signing this 6ft 3in La Liga ace could be a handy boost to their backline next season

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Why Southampton must land young defender Mohammed Salisu

According to Daily Mail, Premier League side Southampton are on the verge of signing Real Valladolid defender Mohammed Salisu.

The Saints have agreed on a deal to sign the 21-year-old, who has a £10.9m buy-out clause in his current contract. However, the 6ft 3in centre-back’s move to St. Mary’s is being prolonged as he is yet to receive a work permit to play in England.

Real Valladolid defender Mohammed Salisu in action against Barcelona.
Real Valladolid defender Mohammed Salisu in action against Barcelona. (Getty Images)

Ghanaian defender Salisu has enjoyed a breakthrough season at Valladolid, featuring in 31 of their 37 league matches. A product of Valladolid’s youth academy, Salisu has impressed in his maiden league campaign for the La Liga side, with 10 clean sheets to his name.

Despite his side’s attacking struggles this season that has seen them slip to a lowly 16th in the table, their defence has been pretty solid, conceding just 43 goals overall. Much of Valladolid’s improvement in the defence has been due to the rock-solid displays of Salisu, who established himself as a vital member of the squad under manager Sergio.

Salisu can offer Southampton strength at the back

Meanwhile, the report also claims that Southampton are looking to re-shape their squad ahead of next season and are expected to sell their defender Jannik Vestergaard, who has been linked with Leicester City.

Southampton defender Jannik Vestergaard has continuously been linked with rivals Leicester City.
Southampton defender Jannik Vestergaard has continuously been linked with rivals Leicester City. (Getty Images)

Though Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side have shrugged off their initial struggles in the Premier League this season, their weak defence still remains a major concern. The Saints have conceded as many as 59 goals from 36 league games, giving clear hints that they side is clearly in need of some new defensive reinforcements.

The Austrian coach has mostly deployed centre-backs Jan Bednarek and Jack Stephens at the heart of Southampton’s defence but the pair has been far from impressive. Vestergaard has been limited to a part-time job, starting in just 15 league games following his poor form in the league this season.

Apart from the three, Southampton also have Wesley Hoedt in the side, however, the 26-year-old is clearly not Hasenhuttl’s favourite, having spent the season on loan with Belgian side Antwerp. Hoedt, who joined the Saints almost three years back, has never really established himself at St. Mary’s, making just 45 appearances for them till date.

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl celebrates after a win
Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl celebrates after a win. (Getty Images)

Considering all this, it would be in the best of Southampton’s interests that they land a new player to sort out their issues at the back. Salisu has proved himself at Valladolid and would be a good option to consider. Southampton clearly need a consistent centre-back in their ranks if they wish to better their displays next season and a move for Salisu seems like a step in the right direction by the club.

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Verdict

Southampton’s defensive mishaps have been very evident this season and it is clearly necessary that they need a new face at the back. That said, in-form Salisu seems like a good option as he has proved his mettle at the highest level in Spain already. Moreover, he is young and could be an excellent long-term signing for the Premier League side.