Why Everton should beat Newcastle to sign Mohammed Salisu
According to claims from Spanish outlet Pucela Fichajes, as relayed by the Chronicle Live, Everton are keeping close tabs on Ghanaian defender Mohammed Salisu, who currently plies his trade with Real Valladolid in the La Liga.
Everton are not the only club tracking the 20-year-old centre-back, with Premier League rivals Newcastle United, La Liga side Sevilla and German Bundesliga outfit Schalke also hot on trail of the emerging prospect (Pucela Fichajes h/t Chronicle Live).
Salisu, who has a release clause of £10million in his contract, has started all but one of Valladolid’s first 13 fixtures in the La Liga this term. In fact, he has consistently impressed with his performances in the heart of a backline that has shipped 17 goals in 13 games so far.
Valladolid are currently placed 13th in the standings, following a mediocre start to the campaign but Mohammed Salisu has been a class apart.
Born in Accra, the capital of Ghana, Salisu started his footballing education at the African Talent Football Academy in his homeland before joining Real Valladolid’s youth system in October 2017.
The towering 6ft 3in central defender continued his development in the club’s academy ranks over the course of the 2017-18 season before establishing himself as one of the mainstays of the ‘B’ team in the Segunda Division.
Salisu’s impressive progress with the reserve team paved the way for a promotion to the first-team prior to the start of the ongoing campaign and the Ghanaian prodigy has grabbed his opportunity with both hands.
As per whoscored, the 20-year-old has averaged 35.3 passes per game at an accuracy rate of 82.8%, including 2.1 successful long balls, 1.2 tackles, 1 interception, 4.8 clearances and 2.8 aerial duels per game in the La Liga this term.
Taking a closer look at those numbers, Salisu has won 36 out of a possible 56 aerial duels on the pitch so far in the La Liga, amounting to a success rate of 64.28%, while managing to have the upper hand in 16 of his attempted 24 tackles at a success percentage of 66.67%.
Salisu, 20, is still very young and those numbers point to a level of maturity that belies his tender years as a professional footballer.
To put things into perspective, Salisu is still in his formative years but Everton would bag a solid long-term investment by signing him.
As evident from the recruitment of Richarlison, Alex Iwobi and Moise Kean over the past 15 months, the Toffees are building a squad around young and developing players under the stewardship of Marco Silva. To that end, Salisu perfectly fits the bill at Goodison Park.
Having already shipped 18 goals in 12 Premier League outings so far, Everton need defensive reinforcements, with the likes of Yerry Mina and Michael Keane just not doing enough to stem the flow of goals.
Young Mason Holgate has shown that he is more than a handy back-up but bringing in another promising starlet like Salisu would possibly increase competition for places while also adding depth to the defensive ranks.
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The 20-year-old would ideally need time to acclimatize to the style of play prevalent in England.
That said, Everton completing a swoop for the Ghanaian defensive wall in January could pay off handsomely for Silva in the years to come.