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Thursday, December 9, 2021

I almost kicked him out

Mohammed Salisu
Mohammed Salisu

Director and founder of the African Talent Football Academy, Fran Castano, has said that he almost gave up on defender Mohammed Salisu.

Salisu has emerged as one of the best performing young defenders following his impressive debut with Real Valladolid in the 2019/20 Spanish La Liga season.

The 21-year-old Ghanaian defender has been snapped up by English Premier League outfit Southampton for a £10.9m fee this summer.

However, Salisu struggled at the early stages of his career and he was also kicked out according to the director of his former academy.

In a trial match, organised by African Talent Academy at Nsawam, Fran said he almost sacked Salisu but caught his attention after 10 minutes.

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“I was about to kick him out,” the Director of the African Talent Football Academy said in an interview with Sky Sports.

“But he caught my attention within 10 minutes. Salisu is special. Off the pitch, he was quiet and calm. He liked being alone or with three or four of his closest friends. He was very shy.

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“On the pitch, everything changed. Character, aggression and leadership.

“He always wanted to win and he was capable of forgetting bad moments very quickly.

“His rapid rise has not been easy, but he has a very strong personality and knows what he wants,” he added.

Fran also admitted that the Ghanaian centre back has the potential to become a great player in the future.

“He can be a great player,” Fran said.

“He is improving every day and you have to remember that he only played 34 games in Spain. Three years ago he was playing on dirt pitches,” he added.

Salisu featured 34 times for Valladolid scoring once in the process.

He has been handed jersey number 22 jersey at Southampton.

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