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Saints coach reflects on centerback’s performance against Wolves on Thursday
Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl congratulated Ghanaian defender Mohammed Salisu on a “very good” debut for the club in Thursday’s FA Cup win over Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Six months after his acquisition of Real Valladolid, the center-back took the field for the first time with Santos for 90 minutes of action in what ended with a 2-0 win.
His debut was delayed by setbacks from injuries and lack of fitness for the game.
“Yes, it was a very long wait for a debut. It is not that easy, but he stepped forward immediately and played a very good match,” Hasenhuttl said after Thursday’s fifth round victory in Cup competition. , informs HampshireLive.
“He is definitely a player who can help us and that’s why we signed him.
“It took a long time. We said it was a long-term project and we have waited a long time now. Hopefully, there will be more positives to come.
“No [he was not nervous], it has the quality and was convinced of what it does. I was not nervous. He knew what we were doing and he felt comfortable. The more we work with it, the easier it will be.
“He’s fast, he’s strong, he has a good body, so he’s a player for the future.”
Goals from Danny Ings and Stuart Armstrong sent Southampton to the next round of the cup championship.
“Yes, important,” Hasenhuttl replied when asked if he was happy with a clean sheet.
“We had some players back and Salisu did a good job today, Fraser [Forster] also, our guardian of the cup.
“Overall, our backtracking was much better today. Nathan Tella was immediately fighting Traore.
“We deserved it today.”
With his debut now behind him and a clean sheet to brag about, Salisu will look for a second straight outing when Southampton face the Wolves again, this time in the Premier League, on Sunday.
He joined the Saints on a four-year deal in August last year, making his first team for a league day with Brighton and Hove Albion in December. He went on to make six more bench appearances in the month before sustaining a new injury just before the New Year.
Now back in action, Salisu is likely to be called up for Ghana’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations double qualifying game against South Africa and Sao Tome and Principe next month.
In 2019, the 21-year-old turned down his only previous international invitation due to injury.